More flexible free childcare across Stirling thanks to Council's new childminder partnership
Childminders in Stirling
will be able to offer free childcare places to 3 and 4-year-olds, as well as
eligible 2-year-olds as part of an innovative new partnership.
The trial partnership will
see Stirling Council and the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) team up
to deliver additional options for free childcare from 8 January.
Currently, all 3 and
4-year-olds, along with some 2-year-olds, are offered 600 hours of childcare
per year. They can choose to claim this care from local authority nurseries and
private partner nurseries – but not childminders.
The new childminder
partnership, the largest of its kind in Scotland, will give families the
flexible option to instead choose childminders for their free childcare, either
for the entire 600 hours or as a split placement option.
Over forty childminders
across Stirling have signed up to the partnership through the SCMA - more than
any other local authority in Scotland.
Education Convenor Susan
McGill said, “We are delighted to be teaming up with the Scottish Childminding
Association and giving local parents access to over 40 childminders across the
city. It’s so important that families are given as many options as possible so
that they can find childcare works both for parents and their children.
as an option for free childcare is just one of the ways Stirling Council is
working to make sure parents across the Stirling area have access to a wide
range of quality early years provision that is both flexible and affordable.
Not only are we offering new ways for families to secure the childcare they
need, but by partnering with the SCMA, we are allowing local childminders
access to crucial funding and to stay in business.”
The initiative is part of
Stirling Council plans to meet Scottish Government’s commitment to the
expansion of early years childcare by 2020. This will see an increase in funded
hours for all 3 and 4-year-olds and eligible 2-years-olds from the current 600
hours per year to 1140 hours by 2020.
The partner childminders
attended an Induction evening at Raploch Campus with Stirling Council and
hosted by the SCMA on 13 December 2017.
Maggie Simpson, Chief
Executive of Scottish Childminding Association said, “This is an exciting
opportunity and we are looking forward to working with Stirling Council. The
partnership will bring childminders into the mix of funded childcare options
available to families. Childminders provide high-quality Early Learning and
Childcare in a ‘home from home’ setting and many parents value this.”