/ ELC / Parental Choice

Why choose childminding?

All three and four year-olds and eligible two year-olds are now able to benefit from 1140 hours a year of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC).  You can find out if your two-year-old is eligible for free childcare here. These hours are free to you, funded by the Scottish Government via local authorities. 

Your funded ELC entitlement works out at about 30 hours a week if used during school term-time, or around 22 hours a week if used all year round. This can be used at a childminder, nursery or playgroup – or a mix of these, depending on your choice and what is available in your area.   

If childminding is not given as an option by your local authority, we would urge you to contact your local council and MSP, using this template letter. A list of MSPs can be found here.

Professional childminding is consistently one of the highest rated forms of childcare in Scotland by provider type, with 92% of childminders achieving ‘good’ or above across all quality ratings at inspection by the Care Inspectorate.  

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

Childminding has the lowest adult-to-child ratios of all childcare options - this means a childminder can tailor the support and care provided to meet the unique needs of individual children. 

In line with other childcare providers in Scotland, childminders are guided by the Curriculum for Excellence, and are required to follow the values and principles of the 'Getting It Right For Every Child', (GIRFEC), framework, which supports the health and wellbeing of children. 

A typical day with a childminder will include a range of real-life experiences and stimulating activities, including creative play, reading and storytelling, role play, outdoor trips and participating in activities within the local community.

Watch our video and listen to Janine Ryan, Head of Childminding Services at SCMA, speak about the key principles of funded ELC and the options that parents have.

"Lily found nursery quite overwhelming.  I decided that a childminder setting with smaller numbers would suit her better and it's made a fantastic difference to her.  She takes part in lots of real-life activities and learning experiences and spends time with other children of all different ages. She's delighted to be given some independence in making decisions on the activities that she does each day. She's been with her childminder for three years now and absolutely loves it!
You are entitled to funded ELC that meets the needs of your family. If childminding isn’t available as an option in your area, please contact your local authority, councillor and/or MSP.
ELC Contacts_updated June 2021 ELC Parent Letter Template (specific to COVID-19) October 2021 ELC Parent Letter Template (Generic) October 2021 Find your MSP

Childminding...


is flexible and can be blended with other forms of childcare (i.e. nursery) and to provide ‘wrap-around’ childcare. 

During COVID-19, the Scottish Government Guidance for Childminding Services states that blended placements are allowed, provided that risk assessments and precautions are in place. Childminders should ensure they are familiar with the Childminder Services Guidance in relation to blended placements and the steps required. 

Visit our dedicated COVID-19 webpage and FAQs here

is particularly helpful in supporting children with additional support needs or children who may struggle in a larger setting

enables children to learn and play with other ages – providing opportunities to enhance early learning, confidence and social development – and supports parents, families and communities

provides strong continuity of care and follows the eight Wellbeing Indicators (GIRFEC) for all children in Scotland