The Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities have committed to an unprecedented level of investment in early learning and childcare. Inverclyde will receive nearly £6 million of capital funding over the period from 2017-18 to 2020-21, with revenue expenditure to support the expansion of early learning and childcare increasing to £9 million by 2021-22.
Providers from all parts of the sector are vital to the expansion. In December, we published a delivery support plan to build on the support that is already available to providers, including 100 per cent rates relief for day nurseries and more ELC modern apprenticeships. Our delivery support plan will support the financial sustainability of providers, strengthen partnership working, support workforce recruitment and training and improve communications with parents and carers.
The Scottish Government’s approach to delivering the funded early learning and childcare entitlement to all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds is provider neutral.
Much of the provision for nought to three-year-olds falls into the proportion of funded providers’ business that is outwith the funded entitlement. The funding agreement between the Scottish Government and COSLA provides the funding to allow local authorities to set sustainable rates for funded places, which will reflect the cost of delivery for all providers that deliver the funded entitlement, including social enterprises, which will be an important part of the success of the venture.