/ ELC / Parental Choice

Why choose childminding?

All three and four-year olds, and eligible two year-olds in Scotland are entitled to receive funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC).   

The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to a pause in the implementation of 1140hrs being available by August 2020, however parents and carers remain entitled to receive up to 600 hours of funded ELC and to choose the type of childcare that best suits their needs.

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 ELC Parent Letter Template May 2020 ELC Parent Letter Template (specific to COVID-19) Find your MSP


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

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