SCMA Launches Workforce Support Fund for Childminders

SCMA Launches Workforce Support Fund for Childminders
The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) is today (Thursday, 16 July) launching a Childminding Workforce Support Fund which will provide grant funding for childminders experiencing financial strain due to COVID-19.

SCMA has established the fund in partnership with Scottish Government, which will provide small grant funds of up to £350, available to registered childminders who meet the eligibility criteria.  

SCMA is a registered charity and during the COVID-19 pandemic, charities have been encouraged to use some of their reserves where it could help to provide support. SCMA is acutely aware of the difficulties currently facing professional childminders and as such has released £30,000 from its reserves, with the Scottish Government matching this to create a total available Childminding Workforce Support Fund of £60,000.  

COVID-19 has created very significant pressures for childminders and unfortunately, not all have been eligible for some of the sources of funding which other self-employed businesses have been able to access.  

While a number of childminding settings remained open throughout to support the national response to COVID-19 by providing critical childcare for key workers and vulnerable children, many childminding settings across Scotland had to temporarily close.  Some may be struggling financially due to restrictions on the numbers of children which were allowed within each setting which existed during phase one and two of lockdown. As many other self-employed businesses in the country, childminders are experiencing a worrying time.  

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive of SCMA said: “We recognise that this will not solve every financial concern - but we sincerely hope that the availability of a small grant from our Childminding Workforce Support Fund will help to alleviate some of the immediate pressure some professional childminders are experiencing. 

“In particular, it is aimed at those childminders who have not been eligible for other sources of funding and also those whose businesses may take some time to recover their normal operating model. We are grateful to the Scottish Government for providing match funding in order to increase and maximise the value of this Fund.  

“Childcare will play a very significant role in helping parents and carers get back to work and in supporting wider economic recovery from COVID-19.  We are committed to doing all we can to ensure childminding business remain financially viable, both now and in the future, and to strengthen the childminding workforce in the long-term.” 

The Minster for Children and Young People, Maree Todd MSP, said: “I am very grateful to the many childminders who have continued to deliver critical childcare to the children of key workers and vulnerable children. This has been an invaluable source of support to these families.
“Childminders will also have a vital role to play, along with the rest of the childcare sector, in supporting economic recovery and enabling more parents and carers to either return to work, or to increase their hours.   
“However, I am aware that the impacts of COVID-19 have created financial challenges for some childminders. The Scottish Government welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with the SCMA on the establishment of the Workforce Support Fund, and I hope that it can provide some support to childminders facing challenging financial circumstances.”  

There is now a simple application process live on the SCMA website. As part of the process, applicants will be asked to provide information on the impact of COVID-19 on their business and the level of financial award they are applying for, up to £350. 

Priority will be given to applicants who can demonstrate that they are ineligible, or have reduced eligibility, for other external sources of financial support.
For further information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit