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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-00778
Asked by: Collette Stevenson, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 15 June 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its progress towards the delivery of the expansion to 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare.

Current status: Answered by Clare Haughey on 16 June 2021


Answer

The Improvement Service published its latest Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Delivery Progress Report. The report is available on the Improvement Service website and linked on the Scottish Government ELC Joint Delivery Board web page.

This report provides an update on progress by local authorities towards the delivery of 1140 hours of funded ELC at the end of April 2021 as reported by local authorities, comparing this to their reported position throughout this academic year. As members of Parliament will be aware, the duty on local authorities to provide 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare to all eligible children will come into effect in August 2021.

As the report sets out, local authorities continue to make good progress towards delivery, with an additional 10,510 children accessing 1140 hours since February 2021. The report also shows that the local authority ELC workforce in Scotland is reported to have increased by 7,178 FTE since academic year 2016/17, including an increase of 230 FTE since February 2021.

Following a revision to the Improvement Service data collection framework in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, data gathering is planned for the beginning of each academic term through to April 2022.