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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-24909
Asked by: Alison Harris, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 23 August 2019

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to address the issue with children who turn five between the start of the school term and the end of December not being entitled to an extra year of funded childcare, compared with those who turn five in January and February who are.

Current status: Answered by Maree Todd on 23 September 2019


Answer

For children with August to December birthdays, local authorities have discretion to fund additional early learning and childcare when parents choose to defer the school start, where this is in the best interests of the child. This should be based on an assessment of the child’s wellbeing, as set out in the Early Learning and Childcare statutory guidance that accompanied the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

We are currently working with stakeholders from across the early learning and childcare sector to update this guidance to reflect legislative changes since 2014 and to align with wider policy developments. As part of these updates, I have committed to strengthen the guidance on providing an additional year of funded early learning and childcare in a deferred year. A draft of the updated Statutory Guidance will be published for consultation before the end of 2019.