Report: Early learning and childcare statistics 2018 (Scotland)

The Care Inspectorate has published Early Learning and Childcare Statistics 2018, showing the availability and quality of early learning and childcare for children and families across Scotland.

The annual publication, covering 2018, shows that compared to the previous years the number of settings providing funded early learning and childcare places has increased.

In preparation for the expansion of funded hours for three and four year-olds (and eligible two year-olds) to 1,140 hours in August 2020, there has been a 2.1% increase in the number of places available in nursery services, amounting to almost 2,500 additional places compared to 2017.

Overall the quality of care remains high with more than 90% of services providing funded early learning and childcare evaluated at good or better by the Care Inspectorate.

There has also been an increase in the number of services providing care before school hours.

Peter Macleod, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “High quality early learning and childcare benefits children across Scotland. It helps them to have the best start in life and supports them in their learning journey throughout school and beyond.

“It also provides a crucial service for families and can support parents to access employment or training. Early learning and childcare can play a key role in reducing the poverty-related attainment gap.

“The Care Inspectorate’s job is to support early learning and childcare providers to deliver high quality care and positive outcomes for children that meets their needs and respects their rights.

“We see examples of excellent early learning and childcare services across the local authority, voluntary and private sectors in all parts of Scotland, with many services operating at the very highest levels of quality.

Today’s report shows that compared to 2017, there are fewer early learning and childcare (ELC) services operating, but despite this the number of places available has increased.

The proportion of services that provide funded places for three and four year-olds (and eligible two-year olds) continued to increase in 2018.
Over half of local authority run nurseries offered whole day places (or a choice of a whole or a part day place) in 2018. This rate has increased year on year.

The report is available here