Early learning and childcare: Deferral Working Group


This group is no longer active.


In February 2021 the Scottish Parliament agreed to extend the obligation on education authorities to provide an additional year of funded early learning and childcare (ELC) to all children who defer their primary one start from 1 August 2023. In the current system, local authorities have discretion over a further year of funded ELC for children born between August and December who defer entry, while the youngest children (those born in January-February) are entitled automatically.  

The Deferral Working Group was set up by the Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate in 2021, with colleagues representing local authorities, Regional Improvement Collaboratives, Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate. The purpose of the group is to guide and assist evaluation of the pilot approach and assist preparation and planning for full implementation of the associated legislation in August 2023.


  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Angus Council
  • Argyll and Bute Council
  • Clackmannanshire Council 
  • Falkirk Council
  • Fife Council
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Scottish Borders Council
  • Shetland Islands Council
  • Stirling Council
  • Forth Valley and West Lothian Collaborative RIC
  • Northern Alliance RIC
  • Tayside Alliance RIC
  • West Partnership RIC
  • South East Alliance RIC
  • South West Collaborative RIC
  • Care Inspectorate
  • Education Scotland


Early learning and childcare: Deferral Working Group - terms of reference

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