We want to ensure that all children get the best possible start in life.

Scotland has offered 1,140 hours a year of high quality funded early learning and childcare to all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year-olds, since 2021.


Our current priorities are:

Other ways we are supporting children and parents during the early years include:


We provide funding to local authorities to deliver funded early learning and childcare (ELC).

 Funded ELC is delivered by a wide range of providers including nurseries and playgroups, from across the public, private and third sectors and by childminders.

Bills and legislation

The legislative basis for providing funded ELC is found in two pieces of primary legislation: The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

The 1980 Act places a duty on local authorities to secure provision of school education, including ELC, in their area. Following their duties under the 1980 Act, the 2014 Act places a duty on local authorities to secure a specified amount of funded ELC for children in their area and sets out a framework on how this should be delivered.


Email: Central Enquiries Unit ceu@gov.scot

Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Creating Positive Futures Division
Children and Families Directorate
Scottish Government
Area 2C - North
Victoria Quay

If you are a parent or carer you can get more information on eligibility for early learning and childcare at: https://www.mygov.scot/childcare-costs-help/ and https://www.parentclub.scot/articles/funding-and-entitlement-elc


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