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News archive - May/June 2019

Nursery building rate “too slow to hit targets”

The Scottish Government is falling behind in its goal of building and expanding 750 nurseries for the expansion of funded childcare.

Young People Minister Maree Todd said that 97 nurseries have been built, expanded and refurbished since August 2017 to support the expansion of the 1,140 hours being introduced from 2020. This represents just 13 per cent of the nurseries needed to achieve the Scottish Government’s target of 750 by the end of 2021, despite capital funding of £476m over four years provided to councils by the Scottish Government to support associated building projects.

Of the 97 nurseries, 72 are completed refurbishments, 12 completed extensions and 13 completed new builds.

According to the Scottish Conservatives, if the current rate of progress is maintained, the government could fall short by around 500 nurseries.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “These figures only capture the very early phase of the expansion and exclude the many hundreds of projects now either under way or at an advanced stage of development. We are therefore very confident that councils will comfortably meet the pledge of around 750 new or refurbished nurseries.”