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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-11888

  • Asked by: Meghan Gallacher, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Date lodged: 10 November 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 23 November 2022


To ask the Scottish Government, from the implementation date of the proposed change that will enable parents to access automatic deferral funding for early learning and childcare for four-year-olds, what data it expects to receive from local authorities regarding the number of four-year-olds for whom parents have accessed such automatic deferral funding.


There will be an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) census in September 2023 which, as in previous years, will collect information on the number of deferrals but not on the age of the children. The new individual level child census, due to take place for the first time in May 2024, will collect data on children registered for funded ELC, including the date of birth of the child. At that point it will be possible to identify how many children registered for funded ELC were eligible under the change in legislation on deferrals. Some local authorities already provide funded ELC for deferred children regardless of the child’s birthday, so we will not be able to identify if these children would have been registered for funded ELC if the legislation was not changed.