The Accounts Commission and the Auditor General have today published a report on the progress of delivery of the provision of 1,140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland.
COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson, Councillor Tony Buchanan, commented following the publication of the paper on Thursday, 1st June 2023.
Councillor Buchanan said:
"COSLA’s Children and Young People Spokesperson, Councillor Tony Buchanan, said:
"Local Government is proud of what has been achieved to date in the delivery of 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare. Thanks to the hard work of Scotland’s councils and their partners, despite the challenges of the pandemic, children and families across our communities are now benefiting from the enhanced offer.
Local Government welcomes this Accounts Commission Report, which highlights a number of successes and areas where progress has been made, including high uptake, with progress being made in relation to eligible 2-year-old uptake, and high levels of satisfaction with the offer amongst parents and carers.
The report also highlights a number of challenges, including budgetary pressures. Scottish Government has reduced the overall funding package councils receive to deliver funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) by £15m in 2022/23 and by a further £9.1m in 2023/24. This, coupled with real terms cuts to core Local Government funding, is putting increasing pressure on councils' ability to deliver this policy commitment locally; sustainable funding is crucial to ensure that this policy can continue to be delivered.
Local Government will continue to work with our partners to address challenges and further strengthen ELC provision, to support the best possible experiences and outcomes for children and their families."