Proposed changes to free childcare: FOI release

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

Information requested

A detail of Scottish Government plans to match or introduce any equivalent policy in light of the UK Government introducing the expansion of free childcare for children above the age of 2 years old from April 2024. Could you also confirm the current and any proposed free childcare policy for children aged 0-3.


Scotland already has the most generous childcare offer anywhere in the UK. We offer 1140 hours of high quality funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) to all 3 and 4-year-olds and eligible two-yearolds, regardless of the working status of their parents.

Our published Strategic Childcare Plan explains our current childcare offer and how we will start to build a system of school age childcare and develop an early learning and childcare offer for one and two year olds, starting with those who need it most.

New Leadership: A Fresh Start (Supporting documents - Equality, opportunity, community: New leadership - A fresh start - ( also sets out our ambition to develop a funded early learning and childcare offer for 1 and 2 year olds, focusing on those who need it most.

We are currently mapping existing provision for 1 and 2 year olds in Scotland as well as building the evidence base for the policy. The needs or those younger children are not identical to those of 3 and 4 year olds, so we are also ensuring that lived experience of parents and the sector forms a core part of the policy development. In this way we aim to develop a considered policy that meets the diverse needs of Scottish families.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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