/ ELC / Parental Choice

Early Learning and Childcare for Parents

As a parent of a three, four or eligible two year old you are entitled to 600 hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) per year for your child. From autumn 2020 this will increase to 1140 hours per year.

Why Choose Childminding for my Child’s ELC?

Childminders are professional childcare workers, registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate, who work from their own home to provide a childcare service for other people’s children. Being cared for by a childminder gives children the opportunity to learn from real-life experiences. Everyday activities, like going to the shops, involvement in school pick-ups, family meal times and visits to the park all teach children valuable life skills.

Evidences shows childminders provide high-quality Early Learning and Childcare services. 45% of childminding services rate at very good or excellent for all Care Inspectorate quality themes compared to 35.7% of daycare of children services.

Can all childminders deliver funded ELC?

Each local authority must decide whether they will contract with childminders to deliver funded ELC placements. However, SCMA research shows that not all Scottish local authorities currently contract with childminders to deliver this service, despite childminding services consistently delivering high-quality care and flexibility for parents. To find out if your local authority contracts with childminders, please contact your local authority or visit the Family Information Service website. 

"My son has taken months to settle and a nursery just didn’t work for him. Our childminder is amazing and we hope to keep using her."

SCMA is lobbying for all local authorities to contract with childminders to deliver funded ELC. If you would like to support our campaign please sign our Pledge.

What can I do if my Local Authority doesn’t contract with childminders?

You are entitled to flexible Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) that meets your family’s needs. If a childminding service could better meet those needs but isn’t available as an option in your local authority area you are best to raise this issue with your councillor and MSP. Ask them why childminding isn’t an option for your child’s funded ELC and how they plan to meet the needs of families like yours who require local, flexible ELC. We have a handy template letter designed to help you write to your local councillor or MSP. Download the template letter.

Contact us to find out what we’re doing in your local area to represent childminding.

Sign our Pledge

If you, as a parent, want to right to choose childminding for your child’s ELC and want to support Scotland’s childminders sign our Pledge now.