Nursery-age Childcare Funding

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 29 February 2024.

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Photo of Natalie Don Natalie Don Scottish National Party

I start by saying how much I value the work and efforts of our PVI sector in delivering funded childcare.

The average rate paid by local authorities to providers for delivering ELC has increased by 64.1 per cent since 2017. However, there is still variation across Scotland, and I have been clear that, where improvements can be made to the rate-setting process, I want such improvements to be made. I am committed to working with the sector on that, and will continue to look for opportunities to do so and to strengthen the current system.

In December, the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities published our joint review of the process for setting sustainable rates, which recommends actions to drive improvement. I am wholly positive that we will see exactly such improvement out of that process.

On top of that, we are working with the sector to provide further support for that £12 per hour commitment, and I will continue to work with stakeholders to consider whether wider actions could be taken to further strengthen and improve the rate-setting process.