The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 expanded the entitlement to government funded early learning and childcare (ELC) from 475 to 600
hours per year for all three and four year old children, as well as to eligible two year olds. The Scottish Government has committed to further expand the entitlement to funded ELC by almost doubling it to 1140 hours per year by 2020.
The primary objective of this expansion is to support children’s development, especially children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. The second main objective is to support more parents into work, study or training, especially parents from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.
This first evaluation report of the ELC expansion policy:
a) Explores the impact of the expansion after the 2014 Act;
b) Provides learning to help the implementation of the further ELC expansion to 1140 hours as it is being rolled out;
c) Provides an evidence-based picture of how things stand at the moment to provide a baseline for monitoring and evaluating the extent to which the expansion to 1140 hours is achieving its aims, as it is rolled out up to 2020 and beyond.