Early learning and childcare trials

Date: 2nd February 2016
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care

The First Minister has announced that the Scottish Government will fund a series of early learning and childcare trials, working with stakeholders to finalise the approaches that will be tested.

The Scottish Government is committed to increasing the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) entitlement to 1140 hours per year for all 3 and 4 year olds, plus eligible 2 year olds, by the end of the next Parliament.

The aim of these trials will be to test how best to deliver ELC to all eligible children across a spectrum of local requirements: what works, where and why, establishing and sharing best practice across local authorities and providers.

A discussion paper has been published to enable all stakeholders and delivery partners to contribute to the scope and design of these trials, in the hope that this will support the provision of an early learning and childcare service that is valuable, effective and feasible.

Together's 2015 NGO report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child includes a recommendation that the Scottish Government "ensure that affordable, flexible and high quality childcare is available to all families, focusing particularly on provision for those with low income, living in rural areas, parents with atypical work patterns and families with disabled children." (page 15)