Most Councils Not Following Govt Childcare Guidance

research, cross-boundary

Today we reveal that most councils are not following Scottish Government guidance on cross-boundary funding of free childcare places.

Our new report based on FOIs shows just four Scottish councils have reciprocal agreements with every other local authority to fund childcare for children from other areas. Yet Scottish Government guidance says that all councils should have such agreements.

This affects parents who live in one local authority area but need their children to go to nursery in another: usually because they cannot get home from work in time to pick their children up before nursery closes.

We’re calling on the Scottish Government and COSLA to create a national agreement on cross-boundary funding.

The full findings of today’s report are:

  • Three non-island councils have no reciprocal agreements with other councils to fund nursery places
  • Three councils have reciprocal agreements with just one other council
  • Twenty-two councils had reciprocal agreements with at least one other council
  • Four councils had reciprocal agreements with every other council
  • Almost two-thirds of councils who responded pay for funded places in arrears: making it harder for poorer parents to access their place, since they must pay upfront

Two Thirds of Nursery Places Half Days


Two-thirds of nursery places in Scotland are half-day only, Fair Funding for our Kids has revealed.

And nine out of ten council places are only offered for half days, making them almost unusable for most working parents. These and other findings are in our new report, based on Freedom of Information requests submitted to every local authority in Scotland. You can also check out every FOI response we received, to see what your local authority told us.


The childcare system in Scotland isn’t working


Thousands of families in Scotland are unable to access their legal entitlement to 600 hours free early learning and childcare for 3 to 5 year olds.

We are acting to find out where this is happening and why.

Help us change things for the better. Join our campaign for fair funding!

Who we are

The Fair Funding campaign group.

What’s the problem?

A straightforward guide to the key issues.

How does this affect me?

If you are a parent or carer of a toddler, read on.

Your stories

Families share stories of their unfair childcare funding experiences.

What can I do?

Steps you can take to improve the situation.

Press coverage

Media coverage of the campaign and childcare issues.

The Glasgow Campaign

Information about our flagship campaign in Glasgow.

Fair Funding Poll

Easy, one-click poll: is your child getting their nursery funding?


NEWS – 11th May 2016 Campaign Toolkit One in five children is missing out on their free nursery place, because of inflexible hours and a system that just isn’t set up for working parents.  But still the Government claims to have delivered 600 hours of free childcare for every three and four year old. With the…