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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20869: Alison Harris (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statement by the Minister for Children and Young People on 19 December 2018 (Official Report, c. 55), when it expects its initial targeted expansion in local authority services and areas of high deprivation to progress to partner providers and independent schools.

Answered by: Maree Todd 23 January 2019

Each local authority has developed an expansion plan which sets out how they intend to deliver the funded entitlement to 1140 hours in their communities by August 2020 in a way which best reflects local needs, which will include a phasing plan which supports full roll out from August 2020.

Local authorities have flexibility to determine the most appropriate way to phase entitlement in their local area as they build capacity. The expansion planning guidance issued to local authorities in March 2017 requires local authorities to evidence consideration of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation in their phasing plans to ensure that the families and communities who stand to benefit most from the expansion benefit first.

Where funded providers in the private and third sectors, including independent schools, provide early learning and childcare to these communities, the Scottish Government expects that local authorities will involve these providers in early phasing of the entitlement and authorities are already doing so. It is for local authorities to determine when and how to phase out entitlement beyond this, but we would expect providers of all types to be involved in phasing plans.

From August 2020, all parents will be able to choose to access their child’s entitlement from any setting in any sector which meets the National Standard, has a place available and is willing to enter a contract with their local authority.