What is A2C?

Our ‘Access to Childminding’ project (A2C) matches professional childminders with parents who are being supported into work, to provide flexible funded childcare for their school-age children. 

A2C is funded by the Scottish Government’s Access to Childcare Fund, and forms part of a range of other funded school-aged childcare services across Scotland.

Through this project, we hope to achieve the following outcomes: 

  • More parents moving into employment
  • Increased household income for families
  • Reduction in child poverty
  • Families benefit from high-quality, flexible childcare
  • Increase business sustainability for childminders 

How does it work?

The service will offer funded childminding placements, up to a maximum of 12 weeks, which will support parents into work by providing childcare that is flexible and tailored to fit their needs. 

It is anticipated that by the time the 12-week funded arrangement comes to an end, parents should be receiving regular income through their employment and will therefore be able to continue the arrangement with their childminder and pay for the service themselves, should they wish to do so. 

  • Funded placements will be offered (15 - 20 hours per week) to enable both before and after school care to be accessed during term-time, as well as during holiday periods. This will allow parents to go to work, with peace of mind that their child is being cared for by a professional high-quality childminder.
  • The A2C service will initially be delivered across two local authority areas - City of Edinburgh and North Lanarkshire. Two further areas are currently being explored. 
  • SCMA will co-ordinate A2C, through recruiting, training, and supporting childminders to deliver the funded A2C placements. This will also include co-ordinating referrals and matching the needs of the family to childminders as appropriate.
There is specific criteria for families who can be referred to and access the service:
  • Lone parents
  • Families which include a child with Additional Support Needs
  • Larger families
  • Minority ethnic families
  • Families where the mother is under 25 years of age
The referral process is not open as yet, but A2C will be promoted with both third sector and statutory partners to ensure suitable referrals are targeted and received. In the coming weeks, the A2C project will be targeted towards those organisations funded by the Parental Employability Support Fund.

For enquiries, please email a2c@childminding.org to contact the A2C team.

Recruitment of Childminders for A2C

A2C offers a great opportunity to expand your service and enhance the future sustainability of your childminding business by introducing new families to your setting; some of whom may not have considered, or been able to, use a childminder before.
Initially, A2C will be available in the City of Edinburgh and North Lanarkshire and we are currently contacting childminders in these areas to invite them to attend a virtual information session to find out more.

Criteria for A2C Childminders

To be considered for the project, childminders must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered and active as a childminder with the Care Inspectorate.
  • Have achieved a minimum of Grade 4 for all areas at your last inspection, with no significant concerns highlighted within your last inspection report.
  • Have Public Liability Insurance in place and ensure that there is adequate cover
  • Hold a current Baby and Child or Paediatric First Aid Training Certificate (within the last 3 years); or evidence of professional reading or an online course will be sufficient, until you are able to take a practical course.
  • Hold a REHIS (or equivalent) approved Elementary Food Hygiene certificate and adhere to Safer Food, Better Business, if food is to be provided as part of the service.
  • Have undertaken the SCMA Child Protection in a Childminding Setting training (available online) and be aware of local authority safeguarding procedures.  Proof that you have completed a local authority child protection course would also be accepted.
  • Be able to attend two virtual sessions with SCMA - an information session on 24 or 27 March, plus an orientation session on 6 or 8 May.  

PLEASE NOTE: This is a pilot scheme and there are only a limited number of funded placements available, so meeting the criteria will not lead to childminders automatically getting children placed.



Why Childminders?

Childminders are ideally placed to work closely with families to provide a flexible, high-quality family childcare experience in a home-based environment. Evidence has shown childminding can enhance a child’s learning, confidence and social development. 

Childminding has the lowest adult-to-child ratio of all childcare options, which means a childminder can tailor the support and care provided to meet the unique needs of individual children. The referral criteria for this service includes families with children with additional support needs, as well as larger families and lone parents.  The flexibility, smaller settings and broad age range of children who are included, will be a key benefit to families requiring support with school-aged childcare.

Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) has received funding from the Scottish Government’s Access to Childcare Fund, to facilitate our Access to Childminding (A2C) service.