6. Consumer Assessment
6.1 Option 1 outlines the potential impact on parents and carers as consumers of ELC.
6.2 The impact on consumers is expected to be largely positive. From the parent survey, we understand that most parents (73% of those surveyed) currently combine the current entitlement of 600 hours with paid and/or informal provision. Through the expansion programme families will be able to access an increased amount of ELC which is free at the point of access, reducing the need to purchase unfunded provision.
6.3 The removal of the minimum session length and the increase in maximum session length to 10 hours or less also increases the flexibility of access to ELC and provides parents with more choice as to where to access their child’s funded entitlement.
6.4 As highlighted in paragraph 5.7 it is important that the roll-out of the expanded entitlement, and the introduction of Funding Follows the Child, is supported by clear and accessible information for families to ensure that parents’ and carers’ know what their child is entitled to and how the new approach will operate. This will form a key part of the work in the remainder of 2019 to develop additional supporting materials to aid implementation of the expanded hours and Funding Follows the Child.