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Scotland's Early Learning and Childcare Expansion

It’s an exciting time for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in Scotland; however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the Scottish Government has removed the legal requirement on local authorities to deliver 1140 funded hours of childcare for all three and four year-olds and eligible two year-olds by August 2020, as it is recognised this would not be possible at this time.

The Scottish Government remains committed to achieving the full 1140 hours entitlement, and the timescale has now been extended to August 2021. 

For the latest information, visit the Parent Club website.

When the expansion of funded ELC comes into effect, parents and carers will be able to access almost double the current funded childcare allowance from 600 to 1140 hours per year for all three and four-year olds and eligible* two year-olds. This equates to around 30 hours per week during term time.

The Scottish Government will also introduce a new ‘Funding Follows the Child’ approach, which will allow parents to choose their childcare from a range of high quality ELC providers, including childminders. It will be underpinned by a National Standard which all providers who wish to deliver the funded entitlement must meet to ensure that everyone is delivering the highest quality early learning and childcare experience for children.

*children whose families are on low incomes


Q. During COVID-19, can I provide blended care placements?
Q: Will the expansion of funded ELC be going ahead in August 2020?
Q: Will a child who received a 1140 funded hours placement last year get it again this year?
Q: In light of the impact of COVID-19, how much funded ELC will parents now be entitled to?
Q: Can I request a Bookbug Explorer Bag for my minded children?
Q: A parent/carer wants to use my childminding service for their funded ELC, but the local authority has not presented this as an option for them. What can we do?
Q. Will I get inspected by both the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland?
Q. Who should I raise the issue with locally to ask for support if my local authority is not using childminders?
Q. Who is eligible to deliver funded ELC for three and four-year olds and eligible two year-olds?
Q. What does the term 'blended' Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) mean?
Q. What can I do if my local authority doesn’t contract with childminders?
Q. I have a two-year-old child, but how do I know if I am eligible?
Q. Do I need to have a qualification to register as a partner provider to deliver funded ELC?
Q. Do I need to adapt my service to become a partner provider?
Q. Can I provide funded ELC for a family member?
Q. Can childminders deliver funded hours as a result of childminding re-opening during Phase 1 of the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions?