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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-15610: Mary Fee (West Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 23 March 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken to implement each of the recommendations regarding simplifying the funding of childcare for (a) parents and (b) providers that were set out in Meeting Scotland's Childcare Challenge: The Report of the Commission for Childcare Reform.

Answered by: Maree Todd 23 April 2018

Our “Blueprint for 2020 Action Plan 2017-18”, published in March 2017, sets out our policy vision and framework for delivering the expansion of funded early learning and childcare entitlement to 1140 hours by 2020.

The Action Plan committed us to introducing a new provider neutral Funding Follows the Child approach in 2020, which will prioritise and safeguard high quality provision, enable more choice for parents and carers and ensure financially sustainable provision across the sector.

On 29 March 2018, the “Early Learning and Childcare Service Model for 2020: Consultation Paper” was published. This joint consultation with COSLA sets out the Funding Follows the Child approach and seeks views on the proposed National Standard that will underpin it. The proposed National Standard sets out the clear and consistent criteria that all providers who wish to deliver the funded entitlement will have to meet from 2020. Alongside this there is also a commitment to simplifying the process for providers who wish to deliver the funded entitlement.

The Early Learning and Childcare Service Model for 2020 is the output of the intensive work that the joint Scottish Government and local government Service Models Working Group has taken forward since its first meeting in June 2017. This has included extensive engagement with providers and key stakeholders to ensure that this new model works for everyone in the sector and helps to improve the early learning and childcare experience for our young children.