Publication - FOI/EIR release

Funded early learning and childcare eligibility and numbers benefitting: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
20 Sep 2019
Funded early learning and childcare eligibility and numbers benefitting: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900003490
Date received: 26 Aug 2019
Date responded: 20 Sep 2019
Information requested

'In light of the "20,000 children" figure mentioned here:
https://www.parliament.scot/S5ChamberOffice/WA20190823.pdf
1. How many children are benefiting from 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare as at April 2019. If a more recent figure is available, e.g. for August 2019, please provide that instead.
2. The total number of children who are eligible to benefit from 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare.'

Response

The Minister for Children and Young People’s response to Written Question S5W-24493 correctly states that:
“Almost 20,000 children were already benefitting from more than 600 hours of funded early learning andchildcare as a result of phasing as at April 2019.”
This figure is based on data collected for children currently receiving more than 600 hours, rather than childrencurrently receiving 1,140 hours. The current statutory entitlement to funded early learning and childcare is 600 hours, as set out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Section 48(1)). The statutory entitlement to funded early learning and childcare will increase to 1,140 hours per year from August 2020, when The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Modification) (No. 2) Order 2019 comes into force.
The data referred to in the answer are for children receiving ‘more than 600 hours’ because local authorities are currently ‘phasing in’ expanded hours of funded early learning and childcare (ELC) in preparation for the increase in the expanded statutory entitlement from August 2020. This is happening in different ways depending on local delivery plans. For example, some authorities are offering additional hours in specific settings or geographies, while others are gradually increasing the ELC entitlement for most families. The data collected is therefore intended to capture the number of children receiving more than the current statutory entitlement, which is still 600 hours.
Therefore, in response to request (1), while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested on current uptake of 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because this information is not currently collected. As explained above, data collected are for children receiving more than 600 hours, and the latest data are available at: http://www.improvementservice.org.uk/documents/ELC/elc-delivery-progress-report-june-19.pdf.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. 
In response to request (2), no children in Scotland currently have a statutory entitlement to 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare. The statutory entitlement is underpinned by The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Modification) (No. 2) Order 2019, which comes into force on 1 August
2020: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/sdsi/2019/9780111042069/contents .

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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