Independent survey shows benefits to children and families.
The vast majority of parents using Scottish Government-funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) are satisfied with its quality, according to new research.
In an independent survey with more than 8,000 respondents, 97% of parents and carers with a three to five-year-old said they had accessed funded ELC places since August 2021 – and of those, 97% were satisfied with the quality of provision.
A total of 88% of those with a three to five-year-old were satisfied that they could use their funded ELC hours in a way that meets their family’s needs.
The main reasons parents and carers said they used ELC were to benefit their child’s development, confidence, independence and learning.
Seeing such an overwhelmingly positive response from parents regarding the quality of funded Early Learning and Childcare is really encouraging, and I welcome even more the publication of this reports, and the insights it provides us with.
There is no other place in the UK where three and four-year-olds as well as eligible two-year-olds have access to as many as 1,140 hours of funded ELC per year as the Scottish Government does.
It is evident from the following independent survey that funded and high-quality ELC benefits families in several ways, and increases their overall satisfaction, including supporting the educational development of their children, alongside supporting their ability to work and find employment.
Survey respondents also valued the opportunities that funded ELC gave them to work, look for employment or to undertake education and training. Others reported that it alleviated stress and meant they had more time for themselves and their families.
Across Scotland, all three and four-year-olds and two-year-olds who need it most can access up to 1,140 hours of funded ELC a year. If families paid for the 1,140 hours themselves, it would cost them around £5,000 per eligible child per year.
In 2023-24, the Scottish Government will invest around £1 billion through local government in funding for the 1,140 hours offer.
– Children’s Minister Clare Haughey
I am really encouraged to see such a high level of satisfaction among parents with the quality of the funded Early Learning and Childcare they have received.
Scotland is the only part of the UK where all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds can access up to 1,140 hours of funded ELC a year. As this independent survey demonstrates, funded high-quality ELC brings a range of benefits to families, including helping children’s educational development and supporting parents’ ability to work and find employment.
The survey asked parents and carers about their experiences of ELC for children not yet at school. Responses to the survey were collected in April and May 2022. A total of 8,181 responses were received.
Latest figures from the Improvement Service delivery statistics show that a total of 93,902 children aged two to five were accessing funded ELC at the start of September 2022.