Date lodged: 11 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the recent report by Reform Scotland on ending nursery age discrimination.
Answered by: Mark McDonald 25 January 2017
Starting dates for three year olds are defined in legislation. Under these provisions, children who could start school at around 4½ are entitled to an additional year of ELC if parents wish and start school around 5½; children who will be closer to their 5th birthday can request an additional year at the local authorities discretion and start closer to their 6th birthday. In addition, local authorities can and do start children earlier than the term after their 3rd birthday where they have capacity to do so, and this is for them to fund and manage.
Our main priority is to extend the entitlement to eligible two year olds. However, we will consider this report along with all the responses we have received to our ‘Blueprint for 2020’ consultation on the expansion of early learning and childcare in order to inform policy development, planning and implementation for the expansion to 1,140 hours.