Next steps in early learning and childcare entitlement

A consultation seeking views on the future expansion of free Early Learning and Childcare will start in October. The announcement was made by Mark McDonald, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, during a parliamentary debate on the expansion of early learning and childcare. The consultation will set out the Scottish Government’s vision for transforming early learning and childcare. This will be underpinned by four principles of quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability. Views are being sought on areas including future funding options and models of delivery. Providers, practitioners, delivery partners and, parents and families are being asked to take part. Mr McDonald said: “High quality early learning and childcare plays a vital role in narrowing the attainment gap which is why this Government has gone further than any other in our commitment to expanding free entitlement. Increasing the number of funded hours for all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds from 600 hours to 1,140 hours is our most transformative infrastructure project. No other policy has such potential to change the lives of children and their families while improving the prospects of Scotland’s economy in the short and long term. It is vital we keep up momentum, working closely with all interested parties to ensure we continue to improve and adapt the way free childcare provision is delivered in Scotland.”

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