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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-15657: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 27 March 2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what progress it is making with its plans to deliver 1,140 hours of free early learning and childcare from 2020, and what recent discussions it has had with (a) COSLA and (b) local authorities regarding any funding concerns that have been expressed about achieving this.

Answered by: Maree Todd 25 April 2018

In March 2017 the Scottish Government published A Blueprint for 2020: 2017-18 Action Plan . This set out the policy vision and framework for delivering the expansion of the early learning and childcare (ELC) entitlement. It committed us to a series of actions, to be delivered by the end of March 2018 to ensure that the expansion of ELC is rooted in a high quality experience for our children, and; to support our delivery partners in building additional capacity. We, along with our deliver partners, have made significant progress since the publication of the 2017-18 Action Plan and are on track to deliver 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare from 2020.

The Scottish Government is committed to making an unprecedented level of investment in early learning and childcare, and is continuing to work with local authorities to agree a sustainable multi-year funding package which will deliver the requirements of the expansion, taking account of local authority cost estimates reflected in ELC Expansion Plans. On 29 March 2018 Scottish Ministers and COSLA Leaders met to progress funding discussions, with a view to reaching agreement on the multi-year funding package soon.