Early learning and childcare
Early learning and childcare is devolved and the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament. Prior to 2021, 3 to 5 year olds were given 600 hours of funded childcare. This was given a radical overhaul when the number of funded hours increased to 1,140 over the course of a year – around 30 hours a week in term-time. Some 2 year olds are also eligible to access these hours if their parents are in receipt of certain benefits, and for those in the care system.
The policy is delivered by local authorities and in order to meet demand, councils work in partnership with nurseries and childminders across the private and third sector. This policy has been broadly supported but the delivery has brought a host of problems and many say the sector is on its knees