The Care Inspectorate has published Early Learning and Childcare statistics for Scotland, showing how Early Learning and Childcare is available for children and families across the country.
The new figures show how, where and to whom Early Learning and Childcare is provided.
The publication looks at children attending childminders operating from their own home, and day care services including nurseries, playgroups, out of school care and holiday play schemes.
The total amount of Early Learning and Childcare capacity in Scotland has increased this year, with children and young people experiencing an increase in funded hours.
The report illustrates how nursery services provided by Scottish local authorities are performing particularly very well, and shows how this sector has a crucial role to play in improving care and outcomes for children.
The number of children registered with daycare of children services has increased again this year from 214,430 to 216,740 (1.1% increase). The number of childminders has decreased slightly from 6,185 to 5,954, with childminders being commissioned in new ways by some local authorities to support vulnerable children and eligible two year-olds. Almost 33,000 children are now looked after by childminders, slightly down on previous years.
While the proportion of daycare of children services run by local authorities has remained stable at around 46%, the proportion of private services has increased to over 30%. The proportion of voluntary/not for profit services has decreased to 24%.
Karen Reid, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate said: “High quality Early Learning and Childcare plays a vital role in supporting and nurturing children and their development. They provide a crucial service to working parents and help make Scotland the best place to grow up.
“This is a time of significant change in early years in Scotland, with big increases planned in the number of funded hours of childcare. These statistics provide an overview of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland and will play a major role in shaping national and local policy.
“The Care Inspectorate’s job is to ensure that early learning and care for every child in Scotland is high quality and meets their needs and respects their rights.
“We see examples of excellent Early Learning and Childcare services across the local authority, voluntary and private sectors in all parts of Scotland, with many services operating at the very highest levels of quality.
“The pattern of how childcare is provided varies across Scotland, with some differences between the most and least deprived areas. Although there are fewer childminders and private nurseries in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas, there are proportionately more children and family centres and more local authority nurseries. This means local authorities have a critical role in helping to reduce social inequalities and ensure every child has the best start in life.
“Scotland’s fantastic team of almost 6,000 childminders play a particularly important role in supporting children, including vulnerable children who benefit from time spent in a secure, homely, nurturing environment. The quality of childminders in rural areas is particularly impressive and helps children experience excellent care.
“We inspect every Early Learning and Childcare service in Scotland, with all inspection reports available for parents to see on our website www.careinspectorate.com
“I hope these figures will be useful as councils and providers plan how Early Learning and Childcare will expand and be available to even more children.
The report is available here
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