Publication - Research publication

Cost of early learning and childcare provision in partner provider settings

Published: 27 Sep 2016
Children and Families Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Education, Research

Data on the costs and income associated with providing early learning and childcare (ELC) among private and not-for-profit ‘partner providers’.

64 page PDF

761.8 kB

64 page PDF

761.8 kB

Supporting files

Cost of early learning and childcare provision in partner provider settings

64 page PDF

761.8 kB

Supporting files


1. Private and not-for-profit childcare providers who are currently involved in delivering up to 600 hours a year of government-funded early learning and childcare to eligible 2, 3 and 5 year-olds.

2. E.g. Sylva, K., Melhuish, E. C., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Taggart, B. (2004) The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education ( EPPE) Project: Final Report, London: DfES/ Institute of Education, University of London

3. Siraj-Blatchford, I. et al. (2011), Performing against the odds: developmental trajectories of children in the EPPSE 3-16 study, Department for Education, Research Report DFE-RR128 quoted in Department for Education (2013) More Great Childcare, London, Department for Education

4. Mathers S. et al (2011) Evaluation of the graduate leader fund final report. Department for Education. Research Report DFE-RR144 quoted in Department for Education (2013) More Great Childcare, London, Department for Education

5. One Scotland' Programme for Government 2014-2015, Scottish Government

6. Including: Income support; Jobseekers allowance (income based); Employment and Support Allowance (income based); Incapacity or Severe Disablement Allowance; State Pension Credit; Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, with an income less than £16,105; both maximum Child Tax Credit and maximum Working Tax Credit and income under £6420; support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999; Universal Credit. Looked after children includes those under a kinship or guardianship order.

7. Only a very small number of childminders in Scotland are currently being used to provide ELC under the Scottish Government's funded scheme. However, as the number of hours is extended, the Scottish Government wishes to consider what role childminders may play in this.

8. Including a similar survey, conducted for the Department for Education, Brind, R, McGinigal, S, Lewis, J and Ghezelayagh, S (2014) Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2013 Survey materials, Department for Education

9. As children who have turned 5, but have not yet started school, remain eligible for funding under the Scottish Government's scheme.

10. For example, a 'hard check' (which means participants are asked to check and change their answers before progressing) was removed from questions that ask how many eligible two and three to five year olds nurseries provide ELC funded places for. The script had incorrectly set a hard check to trigger if respondents entered a figure higher than their total registered places, but in fact more children can be attending than there are registered places since different children may attend morning and afternoon.

11. 194 surveys were returned, but three were deleted as respondents had not answered most questions.

12. 20 respondents answered on behalf of multiple individual providers - e.g. on behalf of a chain of nurseries - which is why the number of providers covered is higher than the number of responses.

13. For example, 22 cases where spend on ICT and office equipment was missing, 19 case where spend on play and learning equipment was missing and 59 cases were external catering costs were missing.

14. For example, NDNA estimate an average rate of £3.56 per hour for 3 and 4 year-olds -

15. It is possible that at the upper end some nurseries are including rates they are paid for children with Additional Support Needs.

16. The most recent Family and Childcare Trust survey of childcare costs found that on average parents in Scotland were paying £104.06 for 25 hours of childcare for children aged 2+ - equivalent to £4.16 per hour, a slightly higher figure compared with the mean estimates based on this survey (see Rutter, J (2016) 2016 Childcare survey, Family and Childcare Trust.)

17. See the Scottish Social Services Council website for further details.


Email: Sasha Maguire,