MAKING SCOTLAND THE BEST PLACE TO GROW UP
What does the Children and Young People Bill say about early learning and childcare? Increase the amount and flexibility of funded early learning and childcare to meet local need
This means… The early learning and childcare that certain groups of children get will be increased from 475 hours to 600 hours a year. These hours will be free for families. This will be for children who are: three and four year olds; two year olds who are (or have been since turning two) cared for by the local authority (looked after); and two year olds who are (or have been since turning two) cared for under a kinship care order. For two year olds looked after by the local authority, other arrangements can be made to make sure early learning and childcare meets the needs of the child and their family circumstances. The 600 hours will be made available by local authorities within a minimum framework. This means that a child’s early learning and childcare pattern will not be less than two and a half hours or more than eight hours a day. It will also be available over at least 38 weeks throughout the year and can be outwith term time. The local authority will have to ask parents in their area what pattern of hours suits them best. They will then use this information to make a plan that shows how they will try to meet those needs. Parents will be consulted about this every two years.
Improving life outcomes We want to improve and increase the amount of early learning and childcare available to certain groups of children to improve their life outcomes – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.