Nursery rates relief: evaluation

Evaluation of the nursery non-domestic rates relief scheme implemented in Scotland during 2018. We committed to evaluating the benefits of the scheme after it had operated for three years.


1. Nurseries within a building which is used mainly for other purposes, such as a primary school, would be ineligible. In addition, eligibility may be restricted below 100% due to subsidy control considerations.

2. See recommendation 4.25, Non-domestic tax rates review: Barclay report

3. Non-domestic rates: Implementation plan in response to the Barclay review, December 2017,

4. See Nursery rate relief extended until 2023 - (

5. Care Inspectorate Data Store, May 2022: Datastore ( Registered capacity is the total number of children that can be cared for in a setting at one time.

6. If part of a residential property is used for non-domestic purposes, it may be liable for NDR in principle. This would be for the Scottish Assessors to determine.

7. Those childcare services that have identified themselves as nurseries in the Care Inspectorate statistics may not always be classified in the same way on the NDR Valuation Roll. Day care of children services other than nurseries include children and family centres, crèches, playgroups, holiday playschemes, out of school care and "others". Source: Early Learning and Childcare statistics 2020.pdf (

8. See Supporting documents - Summary Statistics For Schools In Scotland 2021 - (

9. Statistics and analysis (

10. Statistics and analysis (

11. Financial sustainability health check of the childcare sector: analysis and evidence - (

12. See Financial sustainability health check of the childcare sector in Scotland - ( and Financial sustainability health check of the childcare sector: analysis and evidence - (

13. The figure presented here is the median value which is less affected by outliers in the dataset and therefore provides a meaningful measure of the average costs of delivery. As part of the quality assurance process, responses in excess of £20 were excluded from the calculation of mean and median values to adjust for where a small number of respondents may not have entered an hourly cost figure or misinterpreted the question.

14. Financial review of early learning and childcare in Scotland: the current landscape - (

15. Economic and fiscal outlook - March 2022 (

16. Scotlands-Economic-and-Fiscal-Forecasts-Summary-May-2022.pdf

17. The Financial Sustainability Health Check of the Childcare Sector indicated that, on average, private providers receive between 33% and 45%, and third sector providers between 69% and 77%, of their income from their local authority.

18. The figure for third sector settings was 0.05%, presumably as they were already able to claim charitable rates relief.

19. Early Years Scotland, Care And Learning Alliance, National Day Nurseries Association, Scottish Out of School Care Network.

20. As only two providers were interviewed, a more detailed account of the two interviews is removed from this published version to preserve the anonymity of feedback provided



Back to top