Families can now enrol children for funded places for August

Families can now enrol children for funded places for August
A nationwide public information campaign from the Scottish Government is encouraging families to enrol their children for funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) ahead of the major expansion.

From August, all three and four-year-olds, and around a quarter of two-year-olds, will benefit from 1140 hours of funded ELC.  Parents or carers can now register for their child’s funded entitlement through their local authority and apply for the option that suits their needs, from the choices available locally - whether a local authority, private or third sector nursery, playgroup or childminder.

The Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd, said: “If you’ve got a child who will be two, three or four, now is the time to see what they could receive from this August.

“Tens of thousands of children are already benefiting from high-quality early learning and childcare, and I’ve heard first-hand how it’s helped to boost their confidence and communication skills and given them access to more opportunities such as outdoor learning.

“I’ve also heard how it has made an enormous difference to families in terms of enabling mums and dads to get back into, or spend more time studying, working or training."

SCMA has been in discussion with the Scottish Government to ensure childminding is equally visible and valued as part of this campaign. We know that childminding provides flexible, high-quality care from a nurturing home-based environment, which can be a significant benefit for children and their families.

Behind the scenes, we are currently developing a new ELC-focused section of our SCMA website, which will provide information and guidance for childminders and parents to help you fully understand the expansion of ELC and what it means for you. 

We’ll be launching our new ELC webpages online very soon, so stay tuned to childminding.org.

What to do now…
This is important news for childminders to share with the parents and families they work with, and encourage them to visit the Parent Club website to find out how to enrol their child for funded ELC places in their area.

Local authorities have individual application processes and deadlines. The Parent Club website will link parents to their local authority for more information.

All nurseries, playgroups and childminders providing funded places will be required to meet strict quality criteria as part of the new National Standard, including achieving good or better Care Inspectorate quality evaluations, and are also required to carry out Continuous Professional Learning.