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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04687: Scott, Tavish (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 14 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-01979 by Mark McDonald on 8 September 2016, what action it has taken to (a) match the supply to the demand for and (b) address the underfunding of private nurseries.

Answered by: Mark McDonald 22 November 2016

Building on this, within our current consultation ‘A Blueprint for 2020: The expansion of early learning and childcare in Scotland’ we have asked the specific question “How can ELC providers, particularly private and third sector providers, be encouraged to expand capacity.”

On 7 October 2016 we published a ‘Financial Review of early learning and childcare in Scotland; the current landscape’ which outlines substantive issues for our partners in local government and in the private and third sectors: both about how the current entitlement is delivered and funded, and around how we take forward our ambitious plans for the expansion of the free entitlement.

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 requires local authorities to consult at least every 2 years on meeting parents needs through a range of choices. Our recently published report ‘Implementing Early Learning and Childcare under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014: Progress Update’, indicates that local authorities have, and are continuing to consult, and reconfigure services accordingly, including increasing partner provider places.

It is for individual local authorities to set their own early learning and childcare policy, including admissions policy and set partner provider rates.