A Blue Print for 2020: The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland

Closed 27 May 2018

Opened 19 Apr 2018


Early Learning and Childcare Service Model for 2020: Consultation

Currently all children age three and four years old and some eligible two year olds can access up to 600 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare per year, with parents/carers able to choose the type of provision they wish their child to attend to take up the funded hours e.g. Local Authority Nursery, Private Nursery, Community Playgroup or Childminder.

However this is dependent on the provider:

  • Having entered a partnership agreement to deliver the entitled hours
  • Having  the capacity / a place available for the days and times required

Added to this, is the variation in process, across the 32 Local Authorities which Early Learning and Childcare providers undertake to become a partner provider to deliver these funded hours.

To fully support the expansion  to 1140 hours in 2020 and the underpinning principles of Quality, Flexibility, Accessibility and Affordability nationally, new ways of working will be introduced. This will include a Funding Follows the Child approach underpinned by a new National Standard for Funded Early Learning and Childcare Provision.  This represents a substantial change for the Early Learning and Childcare sector in Scotland with implications for children and parents as well as providers.

All new and existing services providing the funded entitlement whether in the public (schools), private or third sectors will follow this same criteria, with some exclusions/adaptations specific to Childminders. This is regarded as being ‘provider neutral’ and ensuring the delivery of high quality early learning and childcare for all children, whilst simplifying the process for providers who wish to deliver the funded entitlement. The criteria will also ensure that as a parent/carer you will receive the entitled hours free at the point of delivery, without conditions.


Why We Are Consulting

To ensure that our response as a Council also reflects the collective views of our local community in East Lothian we are asking for the views of our families and providers of Early Learning and Childcare. You are also strongly encouraged to submit your own consultation responses direct to the Scottish Government.


  • All Areas


  • Parents & Carers
  • School staff
  • Teachers


  • Schools & nurseries
  • Childcare & Early Learning