MORE than 2000 jobs will be created after funding of £3.5 million was pledged to support the extension of free childcare in Scotland.

From August, an extra 8400 two-year-olds - from families where no-one is in work - will qualify for 600 hours of free childcare per year. A further 7000 two-year-olds, from families on a range of benefits, will be entitled to the care from August next year. By then, 27% of all two-year-olds will be entitled to the hours.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said extra funding would be invested in skills development and training places, creating new jobs in the sector. He said: "We are determined to ensure that the development of a skilled workforce can match the scale of our ambitions for childcare."

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