Nursery funding for parents of children under age 4: FOI release

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

Information requested

In relation to the change in law allowing continued nursery funding for parents of children who have not attained the age of 4 years by the first day of the school term and who choose to defer school entry, what financial support has been provided to local authorities to fund the additional nursery funding?


Since 1 August 2023, all children who defer starting primary school have been able to access an additional year of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC). This legislative change aligns the funded ELC entitlement more closely with the existing right to defer for children in this age group. This is an important step in supporting parents to make decisions in the best interests of their child, without the financial barrier of ELC costs. The majority of SG funding to local government, including funding for ELC provision, is provided through a block grant known as the General Revenue Grant. It is then up to individual Local Authorities to allocate funding based on local needs and priorities. Provision has been made to fund the full 1,140 hours for each eligible child and includes funding for the deferrals legislation within the General Revenue Grant.

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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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