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Future of childcare provision

Published: 23 Mar 2017 14:40

Minister confirms quality and choice at heart of new funding model for ELC expansion.

Parents will have more choice than ever before when accessing their child’s funded nursery provision the Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald has announced.

The development of the delivery model known as funding follows the child is just one of 31 steps being taken in the next year to ensure the expansion to 1140 hours is founded on quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability.

It will be underpinned by a new national standard for funded provider status, ensuring the highest quality of learning and care is available consistently, regardless of postcode. Local authorities will continue to play a vital role as the guarantors of quality and enablers of choice, and the Scottish Government will work in partnership with them to develop the details of the new model.

Mr McDonald said:

“This Government is committed to delivering a bright future for Scotland’s children. Key to this is ensuring that all our children get the best possible start in life.

“That is why this government has done more than any previous devolved administration to expand high-quality, free early learning and childcare provision.

“We know that every child and family is different, which is why we must focus on the individual and what works best for them. That means removing barriers to private and third sector providers delivering funded ELC and ensuring parents have genuine choice of provision across sectors.

“Research shows that high quality learning and care in early years has a positive effect on a range of outcomes for children, and has the potential to make a key contribution to closing the attainment gap.

“That is why we are determined to ensure that the expansion of early learning and childcare in Scotland helps to deliver the strong foundations our children need to succeed at school and in life.”

Background

The full statement is available here.

The independent analysis of the Blueprint 2020 consultation responses are available here.

The Blueprint Action Plan is available here.

The ELC expansion planning guidance for local authorities is available here.