Types of Childcare
Overall, 79 per cent of households with a child aged two to five years used some form of childcare in 2019.
Forty-one per cent of households used a local authority nursery or pre-school for childcare and, in general, use of local authority childcare increased as area deprivation increased. The use of private nurseries or pre-schools was 13 per cent in the 20 per cent most deprived areas, compared with 48 per cent in the least deprived areas. Use of playgroups decreased in the most deprived areas from seven per cent in 2018 to one per cent in 2019.
The proportion of large families using no childcare increased from 15 per cent in 2018 to 31 per cent in 2019, while use of a relative or friend decreased from 28 to 17 per cent and use of playgroups from seven to one per cent. Use of playgroups also decreased in single parent families from seven per cent in 2018 to one per cent in 2019. Childminder use decreased in small families from 13 per cent in 2018 to eight per cent in 2019.
Hours of Childcare Used
During term-time, 39 per cent of households that used some form of childcare used between 11 and 20 hours per week, with a further 28 per cent using between 21 and 30 hours. Seventeen per cent used more than 30 hours per week. Eight per cent of households used between one and ten hours per week, and four per cent used less than one hour or no childcare.
During the school holidays, 38 per cent of households used less than one hour or no childcare per week in 2019. Seventeen per cent of households used both 11 to 20 hours and 21 to 30 hours, while 13 per cent used over 30 hours, and nine per cent used between one and ten hours of childcare per week.
Use of Funded Childcare
Thirteen per cent of parents/carers of two-year olds used funded childcare in 2019, compared with 72 and 76 per cent of parents/carers of three- and four-plus-year olds respectively. Is it estimated that only around a quarter of two year olds are eligible for funded childcare; 81 per cent of parents/carers with children of this age used no funded childcare, or stated that their child is not entitled to any funded childcare, compared with 21 per cent with three-year olds and 20 per cent with four-plus-year olds.
Around half of parents/carers of three- and four-plus- year olds used between 11 and 20 hours of funded childcare per week in 2019 (51 and 52 per cent respectively). The use of 21 to 30 hours also increased for both ages from two per cent in 2018 to 12 per cent in 2019 for three-year olds and from six per cent in 2018 to 14 per cent in 2019 for four-plus- year olds. Sixty-three per cent of households that used funded childcare in 2019 did so over five days per week.
Views on Funded Childcare
Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of households in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland had no problems with funded childcare in 2019. The most common issue in these areas was not enough funded hours to meet needs (16 per cent). Sixty-one per cent of households in the rest of Scotland had no problems with funded childcare. The most common issue in these areas was a lack of flexibility in days/times offered (16 per cent), with not enough funded places to meet needs and lack of provision in school holidays each affecting 14 per cent of these households.
When asked to consider their funded childcare, 84 per cent of households agreed with the statement "They give me good ideas for ways to help my child learn". Ninety per cent of households agreed with the statement "They communicate with me regularly about my child's progress".
Childcare Costs and Affordability
During term-time, more than half of households in 2019 (56 per cent) either did not pay for childcare or had all childcare paid for by the local authority/Scottish Government. Twenty-four per cent spent between less than ten per cent of their household income on childcare, 15 per cent spent between ten and 19 per cent, and five per cent of households spent at least 20 per cent of their household income on childcare.
During the school holidays, 46 per cent did not pay for childcare or had all childcare paid for by the local authority/Scottish Government. Around a quarter of households spent less than ten per cent and another quarter spent between ten and 19 per cent of their household income on childcare (23 per cent each), with nine per cent spending at least 20 per cent of their household income.
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