Early learning and childcare statistics

Data gathered by the Scottish Government on the funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) entitlement.


The Scottish Government collect and publish data on the funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) entitlement. The main source of data is the annual ELC census. The ELC Data Transformation Project is looking to improve the data availabe on the sector.

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Summary Statistics for Schools in Scotland

This annual publication pulls together statistics on all aspects of funded early learning and childcare and school education in Scotland. 

Documents containing detailed information on funded Early Learning and Childcare are available in the supplementary tables to each publication, which can be accessed via the drop-down menu titled 'Supporting files' at the top-right of the screen.

Key Variables: numbers of centres, staff and child registrations.

Figures are available by: type of centre; registration stage; whether children have English as an additional language; children with Additional Support Needs or with a Coordinated Support Plan; teachers by FTE and headcount, graduate staff and staff working towards graduate qualifications by FTE and number; and by local authority.

Please note the Early Learning and Childcare part of this publication was formerly referred to as pre-school education and was changed to reflect the new provision under the Children and Young People Act which came into force on 1 August 2014.

Note: The first September Pre-school Education publication was published in December 2010. Previous years publications were the combined pre-school and childcare publications which are available at Pre-school and Childcare Publications.

Early Learning and Childcare Census

Information relating to the provision of data for the annual Early Learning and Childcare data collections.

Early Learning and Childcare equality statistics 2014 - 2020

This pack brings together data from the ELC Census, Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), breaking down children and staff by key equality characteristics.

Early Learning and Childcare Data Transformation Project

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) census is an important mechanism for gathering information from services that deliver the funded ELC entitlement. It has been recognised that the current ELC census is not sufficient to provide the information necessary to manage this growing sector and is burdensome for data providers to complete, with little benefit to them. The ELC Data Transformation Project (ELC DTP) has been developed, based on the recommendations set out to in response to the findings of the ELC data consultation, to address the perceived shortcomings. The ELC DTP aims to improve the information gathered and expand the analysis that will be possible for this sector.

Ad-hoc analysis

Analysis which is not routinely carried out and is produced for a specific purpose, and may not be classified as National or Official Statistics.

Data access, data collection specifications and privacy notices

Background data and further analysis of the statistics published here may be available on request, subject to consideration of legal, ethical and other factors. Please contact childrens.statistics@gov.scot for further information.

To find out about access to record level or disclosive aggregate data see the information below on ELC statistics data access.

Data specifications (ScotXed)

Scottish Government statistics: request our data

Scottish Exchange of Data: privacy Information


If you have any queries relating to Early Learning and Childcare statistics please contact us. 

Email: childrens.statistics@gov.scot



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