products enables the secure transfer of data about early learning and childcare eligibility between the Scottish Government and local authorities. logoAll 3-and 4-year-olds in Scotland are eligible for 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare (ELC), along with some 2-year-olds who meet eligibility criteria targeting children facing the most disadvantage. In most cases, this is because their parents receive a qualifying benefit.

Research into barriers to uptake of ELC found that many households with an eligible child were not aware that they met the criteria. Local authorities have therefore requested data about eligible families in their area so they can contact them directly to let them know about their entitlement and what’s on offer to them. has been developed by Improvement Service, working with Tata Consultancy Services, to allow Scottish councils to securely access that data.

How it works

The Scottish Government receives and processes data from Social Security Scotland, DWP and HMRC about households who are entitled to funded early learning and childcare. Once processed, a data file is uploaded to

The records in the file are sorted into 32 mailboxes based on their postcodes (one for each local authority area). Records are checked for errors and exceptions. The local authority is then notified that there is a file available for them to download.

Files are uploaded to three times a year. Each local authority is provided with data relating to its own geographic area only and on the basis that the data will not be used for any other purpose.

Scottish Government anticipates that this will provide access to data on around 90% of households with an eligible 2-year-old.

Who can use

All councils have been invited to sign up to use to access the ELC data at no charge.

For more information contact