Funded early learning and childcare (ELC) is a key Scottish Government policy intended to improve outcomes for children and their families and help reduce inequalities. From August 2021, entitlement for funded ELC almost doubled from 600 to 1,140 hours per year (equivalent to around 30 hours per week during school term time). This applies to all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds.
We are carrying out a series of audits to understand and assess progress with the expansion and its impact on children and families. This is our third audit. It will look at progress with addressing the risks that we identified in our previous reports in 2018 and 2020, and with delivery of the expansion. It is too early to comment on the impact of the expansion on outcomes for children and families, but the audit will assess the plans to allow the impact to be assessed in future.