SCMA Comment on Latest Annual Early Learning and Childcare Statistics

SCMA Comment on Latest Annual Early Learning and Childcare Statistics
The Care Inspectorate’s Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Statistics 2022 were published earlier today (Tuesday 31 October).

Commenting on this report, Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive of SCMA said: “These latest statistics don’t include any surprises and confirm what has been expected, and SCMA has been warning about, for some time - that decreases in the numbers of registered childminding services in Scotland, children in childminding settings and childminders delivering funded ELC continued to be experienced last year – reinforcing the need for urgent action. 

“This is hitting families and communities directly, with shortages of childminders being experienced in many parts of Scotland, and also has major implications for parental choice and the delivery of the Scottish Government’s policy ambitions to further expand statutory childcare provision. 

“The reasons for the significant decline in the childminding workforce during the expansion of funded ELC in Scotland are well-documented and more in-depth analysis on the childminding workforce will be published by SCMA next month. 

“SCMA has been leading nationally on developing the evidence on this, on tackling the issues which have been adversely affecting retention within our workforce, on piloting new approaches to recruiting childminders into the workforce in Scotland which have been delivering good results and have made a series of recommendations for change. The implications of this decline on families, communities, the delivery of national policy ambitions and the need to reverse this decline have been recognised, as has the uniqueness and importance of childminding itself. 

“Much work is underway to increase support for the existing workforce and last month the Scottish Government published its latest Programme for Government, which included vital commitments to scale-up on-going childminder recruitment pilots to recruit an additional 1,000 childminders over the next few years and, in parallel, to pilot a number of important measures aimed at further supporting the existing childminding workforce and improving retention.

“Despite these challenges, it is reassuring and testament to the commitment and dedication of childminders around Scotland that this latest report has confirmed that childminding continues to achieve higher ratings across all quality criteria, through independent inspection by the Care Inspectorate, than Daycare of Children Services – local authority and private nurseries combined. During 2022, 92% of childminders achieved ratings of good or better”. 

Read the ELC Statistics 2022 from the Care Inspectorate in full HERE.