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Nursery Education Written Answer, 09/08/13 [S]

Written Answer given in response to Adam Ingram's (SNP) question asking the Scottish Government what measures are in place to ensure that three year olds in rural areas have the same local access to the minimum hours of free nursery education as their peers in urban areas; and what resources local authorities will be provided to ensure that three-year-olds in rural areas will be offered local access to 600 minimum hours of free nursery education, as proposed in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill.

The Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, replied that all local authorities have a statutory duty to make pre-school places available to all those three and four year olds whose parents wish it.

Local authorities will have varying approaches to delivering the funded entitlement, based on local need. Under the proposals outlined within the Children and Young People Bill, local authorities will be required to consult with local populations of parents to identify their preferences and choices of hours; and, to publish plans to show how local authorities will re-configure provision towards those needs.

The Financial Memorandum accompanying the Children and Young People Bill provides a best estimate of additional costs of the additional hours of early learning and childcare, including for three year olds. The methodology for distributing the additional funding across local authorities has yet to be agreed by COSLA and Scottish Government.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 9 August 2013 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 9 August 2013