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Early Learning and Childcare

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Maree Todd Maree Todd Scottish National Party

The Audit Scotland report confirms that we are broadly on track; we are where we expected to be at this point. Undoubtedly, we have a great deal of work to do between now and August 2020, and for that reason, we have put in place robust contingency plans, for example, for the infrastructure investment.

The data for the Audit Scotland report was collected back in October, and, by January, we were 3 per cent ahead of target on the infrastructure completion rate.

Yes, I am confident. Not only are we ahead of the plan, we have robust local contingency plans in place to be sure that we can deliver in August 2020.

On the workforce, we have been expanding the pipeline for a number of years, through college and university places and in this, apprentice week, I have to highlight the success of our apprenticeship recruitment: we aimed for a 10 per cent year-on-year increase and we achieved increases of 21 per cent in the first year and 24 per cent in the second year. Given that more than half the staff are already in place and a number of local authorities have already completed their recruitment drives, I am confident that we will meet the necessary target.