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IS to offer support for early learning and childcare expansion


The IS has been awarded funding from Scottish Government to be an integral part of the Early Learning and Childcare Expansion (ELC) Delivery Support team and is in the process of recruiting six regional ELC Expansion Change Management Programme Managers, two ELC Expansion Business Analysts and an ELC Expansion Knowledge Management Project Officer.


The Scottish Government is committed to expanding the provision of funded early learning and childcare from 600 hours a year to 1140 hours by 2020, and ensuring that the expansion prioritises a high quality experience for the child.


Local authorities are responsible for the implementation and delivery of ELC in their area. Existing ELC provision will have to be transformed to deliver 1140 hours in line with the Ministers’ Blueprint for 2020.


Local authorities are required to deliver an expansion plan by 29 September 2017, which outlines how the local authority will implement the 1140 hours by 2020. The expansion plan will become a working document which will evolve over time as further information emerges.


ELC expansion aims to achieve excellence and equity for children by recognising the significant contribution that universally accessible ELC can make to a child’s development and to closing the attainment gap. The underpinning principles are that expansion will:


  • deliver a high quality experience for all children
  • support more parents and carers in work, training or study through greater choice of provider and patterns of provision that are better aligned with working patterns
  • ensure ELC settings are as accessible as possible for families
  • be affordable.


Expansion will also support the achievement of inclusive economic growth.


The Scottish Government has established an ELC Expansion programme which will offer local authorities additional capacity to plan for and deliver this transformation. The ELC Expansion delivery support team will provide service innovation and redesign capability, lead a community of learning, and offer a source of specialist expertise on complex issues that will be common to all local authorities.


The Scottish Government is working in partnership with the Improvement Service (IS) to deliver aspects of the delivery support team functions, including change management, business analysis and knowledge management support.


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