The start of compulsory school at age five, earlier than in most European countries, means many young children experience two or three different pre-school settings. There is inconsistency because some services are the responsibility of health or welfare and others of education authorities.
Bronwen Cohen, director of Children in Scotland, said a Childcare Act should be a priority for the Scottish parliament. A statutory body like the General Teaching Council should register early years workers, who deserved better pay and conditions.
Scotland could again be a pioneer as it was 180 years ago when Robert Owen opened a nursery at New Lanark.