Scotland's Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald, recently unveiled ambitious plans to transform the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Sector.
One of the main outcomes of the Scottish Government Blueprint Consultation on ELC is that ‘childminders will have a key role in delivering the expanded funded entitlement’. However, there is much to be done to make this a reality. Up until now childminders have played a relatively limited role in providing funded entitlement despite being keen to be active partners. Of the 5,954 professional childminding services in Scotland only 118 are delivering funded ELC which is completely unacceptable. The expansion provides an opportunity for childminders to have an enhanced role in the delivery of funded ELC but to achieve this, local authorities need to show willing and embrace this opportunity.
SCMA is campaigning for childminders and community childminders to have a key role in delivering the expanded entitlement, especially for younger children. This could be through, for example, increased use of ‘blended models’ which involve children spending time in both a nursery setting and with a childminder. Parents will have more choice than ever before when accessing their child’s funded provision and the development of the delivery model, known as funding follows the child, is just one of 31 steps being taken in the next year to ensure the expansion to 1140 hours is founded on quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability.
Mark McDonald will deliver a keynote address on the future provision of childcare Scotland.
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey revealed as surprise celebrity guest
Dr Elizabeth Kilbey is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and one of the stars of Channel 4’s hit series The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds. She has spent the past 16 years working with children and we are thrilled to announce that Elizabeth will be our surprise celebrity guest at our forthcoming Annual Conference.
With the theme Childminding develops a child’s mind, Elizabeth’s presentation will focus on the use of observation in relation to child development.
“We are delighted that Elizabeth will be attending our conference,” said Maggie Simpson, Chief Executive, SCMA. “With a full time job, a book launch on the horizon and one of the specialists in child development on the much loved, award winning documentary series The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds, we know that Elizabeth has a really busy schedule. We are therefore so pleased that she is making the time to come to Scotland to address delegates at our conference on such an interesting topic. I’m sure she will have many tales to share with childminders and I am thoroughly looking forward to meeting Elizabeth and watching this presentation at our event.”
Elizabeth is completely obsessed with child development. “I think one of the things that clinical psychology has taught me the most is observation skills,” said Elizabeth. “We are people observers and as an expert in child development what is so crucial to my understanding of how children develop is to watch them in interaction with others. It is through these minute-by-minute exchanges that we are able to see and hear the patterns of their social and emotional development unfolding. It’s all about relating; and being able to observe so closely how these children are managing these social exchanges with each other.
“Kids are funny. And they’re so honest. I love the fact that they say what they think. I love their complete generosity of spirit. I love the uniqueness of their perspective on the world, really. When you’re four, a cardboard box is awesome.
“Personally, I’m really looking forward to coming to Scotland at the end of September and joining with childminders at their annual conference. Meeting with new friends is challenging but we all share a professional interest in Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and it will be great to swap stories on the use of observation and how this is very relevant to the long-term development of children.”
Directions will be included in your delegate pack which will be posted to you nearer the conference date.
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