Future of Inspection: Consultation Response from the Scottish Government

Future of Inspection: Consultation Response from the Scottish Government
The Scottish Government has today (24 March 2023) published its response to their Future of Inspection Consultation for all Early Learning and Childcare (not just funded providers) and School-Age Childcare settings. 

Commenting on the publication, Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, SCMA, said:
“We welcome the publication of today’s report and the Scottish Government’s commitment to major change, recognising that this is required. During the expansion of ELC we have experienced a significant increase in paperwork, bureaucracy and duplicative quality assurance which is not sustainable and has become the main reason childminders have been leaving our workforce. Much work is already underway to reduce these pressures, with more to follow. 

“We recognise that some members may feel we have been here before in that a single/shared inspection was recommended in 2015 and not delivered. This cannot be allowed to happen again and it is welcome that the Scottish Government has committed to a timescale for change, with the new shared inspection and framework to be implemented by the Care Inspectorate in April 2024. While this timescale is positive, it is also over a year away. In recognising that the current system is excessive and not working, we also believe there is a need for action in the interim and to explore what paperwork or duplicative activity can be switched off.  

“It has also been recognised that inspection and quality assurance should be more proportionate to childminding, that there is a need for a major reduction in paperwork, and for inspection and quality assurance to recognise different provider types – all points which featured prominently in our large-scale #TellSCMA Childminding and You Survey 2022 and our response to the consultation.  

“SCMA has already been invited to sit on a stakeholder group to inform the development of the shared inspection and framework, and the Scottish Government has also committed to bringing the Care Inspectorate, Education Scotland and SCMA together to discuss the inspection landscape for childminders and consider further actions, reflecting the findings of our large membership survey.”  

This is an important step for childminding in Scotland – and given the significance, SCMA wants to take some time to carefully consider their response, and fully reflect on the details included. We will, of course, keep childminders up-to-date, and we will share our detailed response with members as soon as possible. 

The consultation was launched in autumn last year and ran until 28 October 2022, where all relevant organisations and providers across the sector – including childminders - were invited to consultation events, asked to respond and encouraged to share their views. 

In addition, SCMA submitted a formal response, based on the feedback we received from childminders following our in-depth survey. We wanted to ensure that we fully represented your views and asked important questions beyond those within the consultation. In addition, we wanted to capture and reflect your experiences of inspection and quality assurance, focussing on the increase in paperwork and the impact that this has on your business.

Read more about our findings and our consultation response HERE.
Read the Scottish Government’s response to their Future of Inspection Consultation HERE