Date lodged: 23 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government, further to its recent announcement on funding for additional graduates for early learning and childcare, how it will allow local government flexibility on allocation of additional places and ensure that each identified nursery receives a full-time equivalent graduate at the same time.
Answered by: Mark McDonald 1 February 2017
Allocations of the additional graduates to local authorities were determined by their share of the nurseries located in the 20% most deprived postcode areas. Using the Care Inspectorate data on Early Learning and Childcare settings, and the latest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), 432 nurseries were identified as being located in the 20% most deprived postcode areas. Each of the three local authorities (Orkney, Shetland, and Western Isles) without a nursery in the 20% most deprived postcode areas will also receive one additional full-time equivalent graduate.
However, to ensure that this commitment benefits as many children as possible local authorities will be given flexibility to draw on their local data to prioritise how they allocate these additional places.
We are currently working closely with local authorities on progressing this commitment, and will ask them provide plans setting out how they propose to allocate the additional places in their area.