Best Start - strategic early learning and school age childcare plan 2022 to 2026

The plan sets out how we will embed the benefits of our transformational investment in 1140 hours of high quality funded early learning and childcare. It also explains our approach to expanding our childcare offer over the next four years.

Our Plan on a Page

Shows links between childcare policy priorities, design and delivery principles, and Scottish Government national outcomes.

Graphic text below:

Childcare policy contributes to national outcomes focused on...

  • Children and young people
  • Health
  • Education
  • Poverty

Our policy vision – making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up

Through access to rich and nurturing early learning and school age childcare experiences, children, families and their communities are enabled to reach their full potential and the poverty-related outcomes gap narrows.

Our strategic priorities

Realising the benefits of the expansion to 1140 hoursof funded Early Learning and Childcare for children and families.

Progressing the expansion of our childcare offer, including building a system of school age childcare and developing a new offer for one and two year olds.

Ensuring that the delivery of our priorities is supported by a sustainable, diverse and thriving sector and profession.

Ensuring that our ambitions are underpinned by fair funding and outcomes frameworks, robust data and organisations that work together to regulate services and support quality improvement.

Our outcomes

Children's development improves and the poverty-related outcomes gap narrows.

Family wellbeing improves.

Parents' and carers' opportunities to take up or sustain work, training, and study increase.

Delivery principles: what our childcare offer will look like

Quality, flexibility, accessibility, affordability (and other principles that may emerge from our engagement)

Design principles: how we will design our policy offer

Co-design, innovation, partnership



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