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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-04079

  • Asked by: Kaukab Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 28 October 2021
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Clare Haughey on 29 October 2021


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its approach to implementing the Provision of Early Learning and Childcare (Specified Children) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 to entitle all children, whose school start is deferred, to access funded early learning and childcare in their deferred year, from August 2023.


On the 2 October 2019, my predecessor confirmed that the Scottish Government would introduce legislation in this parliamentary session to entitle all children whose school start is deferred to access funded early learning and childcare in their deferred year.

The legislation required, an affirmative Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, was laid on 7 December 2020.

Last year, to progress the implementation of this policy and allow us to develop an evidence base for our evaluation, five pilot authorities were funded to offer an additional year of funded ELC to all children who choose to defer entry to primary 1. These authorities were: Angus, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, Scottish Borders and Shetland Islands.

To allow us to expand our evaluation of the impact of the legislation, five additional authorities have been selected to receive funding to implement this policy from August 2022.

These authorities will be: Aberdeen City, Clackmannanshire, Fife, Glasgow City, and Stirling. The Scottish Government has committed £8.9 million to support this early implementation.

The evaluation of the experience in pilot authorities is being undertaken to monitor the impact of the policy, inform assessment of likely uptake of the entitlement and inform wider implementation of this legislation.