Eligible day nurseries across North Ayrshire and Scotland will continue to benefit from 100% relief on non-domestic rates until at least June 2023, the SNP Government has announced.
Extending the scheme, initially due to end on 31 March 2021, will allow for a full evaluation of the impact of the day nursery relief on providers, parents and carers – which is a recommendation of the Barclay Review of non-domestic rates.
In 2020/21 the relief has been worth on average more than £12,000 to each eligible nursery.
Children’s Minister Maree Todd MSP said:
“Extending the Nursery Rates Relief Scheme will provide some welcome certainty to our day nurseries – especially at a time when many are feeling real financial pressures.
“Our childcare sector plays a vital role in our economy, supporting children’s development and helping parents to access employment, education or training. We have seen the critical importance of this during the pandemic.
“We will shortly announce a new date for when all eligible children will be entitled to 1,140 hours of high quality care and learning – almost double the current statutory entitlement.
“I’m very pleased that in addition to the measures we’ve already taken, this further step will provide more certainty for the sector, while ensuring the benefits of the scheme are being felt by families across Scotland.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“I know the extension of this scheme will be welcomed by nurseries across North Ayrshire. During these difficult times, knowing they can continue to benefit from rates relief for another two years means there is one fewer thing to worry about.
“The scheme was introduced in April 2018, so this will be a total of five rate-free years for eligible nurseries; a significant saving.
“The SNP Government recognises the value of nurseries and is keen to support them whenever possible. That’s why earlier this year, it also made a £10,000 grant available to nurseries in receipt of Nursery Relief with a rateable value up to £18,000 to help them weather the impact of COVID-19 on their business.”
An evaluation of the initial 3 year scheme will be completed by June 2022.
The Non-Domestic Rates (Day Nursery Relief) (Scotland) Regulations 2018 can be found here.
The statutory expansion of funded early learning and childcare for eligible children from 600 to 1,140 hours was paused in April to give local authorities the flexibility to focus on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new date for the statutory expansion to 1,140 hours will be announced shortly.