Early Learning and Childcare Inclusion Fund

There have now been three rounds of the Scottish Government's Early Learning & Childcare (ELC) Inclusion Fund, which is managed by Children in Scotland. The ELC Inclusion Fund has two million over four years or £500,000 per year to provide funding to settings to support children with additional support needs in Scotland access their funded ELC entitlement. This is especially important in light of the expansion of ELC where all children (three and four years olds and some two year olds) will have an entitlement to 1,140 hours of ELC which is about 30 hours a week by August 2020.

The fund is for appropriate training and resources, equipment and adaptations. Settings can apply for a maximum of £1,500 in each round, additional applications from a setting can be made if it is for a different adaptation, resource or training.

The fund will distribute awards to registered providers to support children with additional support needs to access their free early learning and childcare entitlement and make sure that staff working in their setting receive appropriate training to help them meet children’s needs.

The fund is intended to:

  • make settings more accessible for children with additional support needs
  • result in an increase in the number of staff who are trained and confident to support children with additional support needs
  • promote more inclusive learning experiences for children in the early years

It is hoped that this will result in better outcomes for children with additional support needs. To date most applications have been from local authority providers but with private providers, third sector providers and childminders represented. There were 247 providers across Scotland awarded funds over the first two rounds, and 218 applications have been received in the third round.

If you would like any information about the fund or have questions about how to apply, please contact Children in Scotland.