ELC Statutory Guidance – guidance and summary for childminders

ELC Statutory Guidance – guidance and summary for childminders
All childminder members will today receive an email from SCMA about ELC Statutory Guidance consultation. We are asking as many childminders are involved as possible, as the ELC Statutory Guidance provides legal guidance for local authorities to follow when overseeing the delivery of funded ELC. 

SCMA will of course be submitting a formal organisational response, but we are also actively encouraging childminders to have their say. This is very important for all childminders, and not just those involved in ELC delivery, but any childminder who might wish to do so in the future.

To help our members take part in the consultation, we have emailed guidance, information and a useful summary document with some sample responses to help you submit your response to the consultation.

Download the Statutory Guidance for ELC Summary Document
Complete the ELC Statutory Guidance Consultation

All responses to the consultation must be submitted by 4 March 2020. This should take no more than a few minutes of your time and the more responses which are submitted, the greater our chance of securing this progress.

Together we can strengthen childminding in Scotland.

At the end of last year, the Scottish Government launched an important consultation exercise on an update to the Statutory Guidance for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC). 

When the National Standard for funded ELC was published in 2018, it was founded on the principle that funded ELC should be free at the point of delivery. 

For childminding, this meant that childminders delivering ELC would not be allowed to charge retainer fees. At SCMA, we were aware that this is an established business practice for childminders and that if you are not allowed to do this, it could make your businesses less viable. 

While some local authorities around Scotland have been interpreting this differently, we were aware that from August 2020 no childminders would be able to charge retainer fees where they need to keep a place open while a child receives funded hours from another provider. 

Over a number of months, we have been in discussion with the Scottish Government. As a result of our action, the Draft Statutory Guidance now allows for the charging of retainer fees and recognises that this arrangement is out with the scope of funded ELC. However, this guidance is still in draft form. With your support, we can secure this important recognition in the final Statutory Guidance which local authorities will be required to follow.    

There are also some other areas within the guidance which deserve support or where we believe that progress has been made, but that the guidance could be strengthened to secure greater involvement of childminders in funded ELC delivery.