/ ELC / Professional Childminding

Protect Professional Childminding

We Need You!

Funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) is set to expand to 1140 hours for every three, four and eligible two year old by 2020. Which is great – unless parents use their funded hours with nurseries. So, SCMA is now doing everything possible to raise awareness that funded ELC is changing. Over the past year we have launched an Early Learning and Childcare Campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the plight of childminders in Scotland.

Key messages in the campaign include:

  • SCMA champions childminders who can offer a blended approach to childcare. It is not unusual for children to attend and be registered with more than one service. For example a child may already attend a local authority nursery for their funded 600 hours of ELC and/or a childminder for additional childcare.
  • Parental choice and flexibility are vitally important to ensuring the best start in life for children. Many of our case studies show that parents prefer to have more choice about how they access their funded hours than is possible within local authority services, private nurseries or voluntary playgroups.
  • A childminding service is the ideal setting for children to experience their funded hours. Evidence from the recent GUS report ‘tacking inequality in early years’ showed: ‘GUS has found that children who attended providers with a high ‘care and support’ grade as assessed by the Care Inspectorate were more likely to show improvement in vocabulary skills by age five, irrespective of their social background and other pre-school characteristics.’ Social and emotional development is an area childminding services excel in and tend to be highly graded by the Care Inspectorate.
  • The quality of ELC delivered by childminders exceeds other daycare services, including nurseries. 49% of ELC services provided by childminders are high quality services (very good or excellent for all quality themes). 92% of childminding services are 'good or better' across all quality themes from the Care Inspectorate.
  • Childminders need to support SCMA to take action - help us be your voice.

How can I help protect professional childminding?

There are a number of things you can do to help protect professional childminding:

  1. Find out if your local authority contracts with childminders to deliver funded Early Learning and Childcare. If not, how to they plan to meet the needs of families when entitlement expands to 1140 hours in 2020? Write to your local councillors and MSP to ask this question. We’ve created a handy template letter to help you do this (available to download from the Membership Dashboard).
  2. Make sure parents in your area are aware of the change to ELC and the potential negative effect this could have on Scotland’s childminding workforce. Download the parent leaflet from the Membership Dashboard. Paper copies of the leaflet can be requested by calling us on 01786 445377.
  3. Talk to other childminders in your area. Are they aware of the local authorities plans and the potential negative impact on their service if they cannot deliver funded ELC in future? SCMA can come and meet with you to talk about the way forward for childminding.
  4. Keep SCMA up-to-date with what’s happening in your area. It’s very useful for us to have this information when negotiating with the local authority. You can contact us by calling 01786 445377, emailing marketing@childminding.org or sending us a PM on Facebook.
  5. SIGN OUR PLEDGE. Show your support to ‘Save our Services: #SOSchildminding’ by signing our Pledge and sharing it far and wide.