The Care Inspectorate has published early learning and childcare statistics for Scotland, showing the availability and quality of early learning and childcare for children and families across the country.
The new figures show how, where, and to whom early learning and childcare is provided.
The publication includes information about childminders, playgroups, out of school care and different kinds of nurseries. It shows that both the number of children who go to early learning and childcare across Scotland had increased again in the past year, and that the quality of services remained consistently high.
The total amount of early learning and childcare capacity in Scotland has increased this year.
- Some 252,200 children were registered with early learning and childcare services at 31 December 2016, an increase of 1.1% from the 249,400 children registered in 2015. This includes a notable increase in the number of two year-old children registered.
- There has been a considerable increase in the opening times of many daycare of children services. The proportion of local authority nurseries offering the choice of whole day sessions rose by 34.2% since last year and the proportion of playgroups offering whole day sessions increased from 7% to 12.1%.
- Breakfast and after school care has increased across all service categories. The proportion of services offering a service in the morning before school hours has increased from 55.1% in 2015 to 65.0% in 2016. The increase could be seen across all service types, but was particularly high in nurseries (especially in local authorities nurseries) and out of school care services.
- The report illustrates how nursery services provided by Scottish local authorities are performing particularly well, and shows how this sector has a crucial role to play in improving care and outcomes for children.