Two out of three children in council nurseries get just three hours of care per day

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Fair Funding for our Kids has found that two out of three children attending council nurseries get care for just three hours and ten minutes per day. 

Response to our recent FOIs found that 68% of council places were offered for half days only. This is an improvement on Fair Funding’s first FOI report in 2015, when the figure stood at 95%. However, at this rate of change, it will take until 2026 to end the practice of half-day places.

Other key findings in the report were: 

  • 70% of all free childcare places for 3-5 year olds in Scotland were offered in council run nurseries.
  • 68% of all council nursery places for 3-5 year olds were half days only
  • 48% of all nursery places in Scotland were half days only
  • 16% of all nursery places are for full days in term time only
  • Less than 3% of all nursery places are for full days all year round
  • Local authorities in Scotland were underfunding places in private nurseries by up to £461 per child
  • 21 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities were offering an hourly rate below the national average cost of a nursery place

A spokesperson for the campaign said,

“Early years care is so important, but working parents continue to miss out. Very few people have bosses who are prepared to let them work for less than three hours a day, and many don’t have grandparents who can fill gaps in childcare. We need much faster progress in eliminating half-day places except where parents specifically request them”. 

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2 thoughts on “Two out of three children in council nurseries get just three hours of care per day

  1. Where is the common sense in nursery children being at school nurseries for longer hours than their big brothers and sisters?
    Surely all you are wanting is a free baby sitting service?
    Most children of this age are too tired to be in a formal setting all day.
    The money being spent funding these extra hours would be better spent at a higher level of education. There are primary and secondary schools that have extremely tight budgets.

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    1. Hi John, our campaign is about getting the government to deliver what they say parents and children are entitled to. At the moment the law says parents and children should receive 600 hours of free childcare for 3-5s if they want it, but that’s not happening consistently across the country.

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