Publication - Research and analysis

Early Learning and Childcare Expansion delivery trials: evaluation

Published: 22 May 2018
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Education

An evaluation of 14 trials delivering 1140 hours of government funded Early Learning and Childcare.

Early Learning and Childcare Expansion delivery trials: evaluation
2. Overview of the trials

2. Overview of the trials

In taking forward the expansion of ELC and delivering on its 2020 vision, SG invited local authorities to devise and submit for trial, new delivery models that would not compromise on the quality of experience, would deliver positive outcomes for children, ensure excellence and equity in the ELC sector and support children's transitions through early learning and childcare and into school. In late 2016 and early 2017, a total of 14 delivery model trials were selected in the following authorities:

Argyll & Bute
Dumfries & Galloway
East Ayrshire
Eilean Siar
North Ayrshire
Scottish Borders
South Lanarkshire

Each trial had a duration of 6-12 months, and in October 2017, two trials had come to an end of their trial period and continued as part of early phasing. Other trials started later and will not finish until June 2018.

The trial delivery models can be categorised into two main groups – blended provision, and ELC offered by a single provider. Blended provision is characterised by children attending two or more settings, managed by different providers, working together to provide children with their entitlement to ELC. Within the Scottish Government trials programme blended provision was offered by childminders and ELC establishments working together.

A child receiving their ELC from a single provider will most frequently attend the same setting for all of their sessions. It is possible however for a registered provider to offer a placement over different sites, staffed wholly, or in part by different practitioners. Within the Scottish Government trials programme single providers offered ELC predominantly in establishment settings. Two trials authorities used establishment-based settings but included outdoor/forest kindergarten sessions as part of their provision. More detail on each trial can be found in Annex A.