THOUSANDS of Scottish parents are missing out on up to £1000 in funding for nursery places because of the way the current Scottish Government system is run, a new report has warned.

A paper by right-wing think-tank Reform Scotland shows that, although some children are entitled to two years of Government-funded nursery provision, others receive just 15 months.

The anomaly is caused because Government funding for nursery provision begins the school term after a child turns three. Reform Scotland believes the issue could be resolved by a simple change to the scheme so provision would begin two years before a child was due to start school.

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Alison Payne, Reform Scotland's research director, said: "Not only does the system discriminate against younger school-entrants in terms of the gap in learning, for families using partnership nurseries it can cost them over £1000."

The Scottish Government said the Children and Young People Bill would provide more hig quality early learning and childcare than ever before.