As you will know, the changes in law to protect people in Scotland during the coronavirus outbreak have already very significantly affected how your child is educated. The Scottish Government has asked local authorities to close all schools and early learning and childcare settings (like nurseries) except for making ‘critical provision’ for children in some key groups, like the children of key workers in the NHS.
This section will set out some of the key questions that we think you may have about how the changes in law will affect your child’s early learning and childcare.
We are still developing this section, and will update this page whenever we are able to provide some more information.
All children aged three and four, and some children aged two, are currently entitled to 600 hours per year of free early learning and childcare. The Scottish Government had planned to make it the law for local authorities to increase this to 1140 hours from August 2020. Some local authorities have already started increasing the hours they provide, but they do not yet legally have to.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this deadline has now been postponed so that local authorities can focus on responding to the current situation. Their top priorities at the moment are doing things like making emergency childcare arrangements for children that still need to attend school or nursery, and working with schools and other services to make sure that children who are at home can still access learning and are kept safe and well.
There is not yet a new date when it will become the law for local authorities to increase the number of hours they provide, but we will update this page with any further information that becomes available.