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Have your say on free childcare expansion

Published: 29 Sep 2016 15:41
Part of:
Education

Views sought for next steps in early learning and childcare entitlement.

A consultation seeking views on the future expansion of free Early Learning and Childcare will start next week.

The announcement was made by Mark McDonald, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, during a parliamentary debate on the expansion of early learning and childcare.

The consultation will set out the Scottish Government's vision for transforming early learning and childcare. This will be underpinned by four principles of quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability.

Views are being sought on areas including future funding options and models of delivery. Providers, practitioners, delivery partners and, parents and families are being asked to take part.

Mr McDonald said: "High quality early learning and childcare plays a vital role in narrowing the attainment gap which is why this Government has gone further than any other in our commitment to expanding free entitlement.

"Increasing the number of funded hours for all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds from 600 hours to 1,140 hours is our most transformative infrastructure project. No other policy has such potential to change the lives of children and their families while improving the prospects of Scotland's economy in the short and long term.

"The financial review of early learning and childcare provision published earlier this week provided a comprehensive picture of the current landscape in Scotland. We have made substantial progress in recent years but we must do more.

"It is vital we keep up momentum, working closely with all interested parties to ensure we continue to improve and adapt the way free childcare provision is delivered in Scotland."

Notes to editors

Financial review of early learning and childcare in Scotland: the current landscape is available here.

Respondents will be able to submit their views through an online survey, via email or post.