How are trials of the 1140 hours of free early learning and childcare going? We asked parents across Scotland

5th June 2019

We asked parents about their understanding and experiences of trials of the 1140 hours of free (to parents) early learning and childcare. The Scottish Government policy of 1140 hours of education and childcare for all three and four year olds from August 2020 has received significant investment since 2017. As well as building new nurseries, some local authorities have been trialling and rolling out the 1140 hours since 2017. Some started in 2018 and others will begin trials in 2019. 

We are calling on the Scottish Government, local authorities and nurseries to give parents clear information in good time about their child's nursery/early learning and childcare place.  The trials have highlighted how complicated the roll-out is because of the complexities of the early years sector.

Our survey of parents found

  • considerable variation in the kinds of trials across Scotland, although most trials have taken place in local authority nurseries, not in partner providers
  • a lot of confusion and frustration amongst parents, with provision changing from year to year
  • different, sometimes contradictory, criteria being used in the allocation of the 1140 hours to families (parents in work, parents not in work)
  • families feeling they are being unfairly treated - the cost saving on childcare can be more than £2500 per year.

Read our full report and its findings here.