Financial Review of early learning and childcare in Scotland

Date: 17th October 2016
Category: Social security, Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities

A new Scottish Government financial review suggests that funds to pay for free childcare is not being spent on the program by councils.

Since August 2014, all children aged three and four as well as vulnerable two year olds in Scotland should be offered 600 free hours of childcare a year. The financial analysis of the Scottish government's flagship childcare policy shows that local authorities were given an extra £329m to fund the free childcare scheme but that they spent or plan to spend £189m of this on childcare. Many families have also reported that they have been unable to access the free childcare hours.

These figures have been disputed by COSLA.

Government ministers are expected to publish a new blueprint and consultation on childcare over the coming weeks amid calls for greater transparency on the route through which all funding - public and private - is distributed.