SCMA returns to Scottish Parliament this morning

SCMA returns to Scottish Parliament this morning
Graeme McAlister is to address Scottish Parliament again today (Tuesday 21 June) to provide further evidence on 1140 Funded ELC expansion and the adverse impact on childminders.

Later this morning, SCMA Chief Executive Graeme McAlister will be presenting evidence in Parliament to the Finance and Public Administration Committee regarding the cost of expansion of 1140 hours Funded Early Learning and Childcare Policy, including the serious adverse impact on childminding.

This comes only four weeks after providing evidence to the Education, Children and Young People Committee and presents a welcome opportunity to build on the themes and areas of concern already expressed, with further emphasis this time on:   

  • the need to look beyond sustainable rates - all local authorities must also be required to include childminders in ELC delivery at a level of hours which supports childminders’ business sustainability
  • the need for greater scrutiny of the secondary costs (or unintended consequences) of ELC expansion -  most notably the devastating effect on the childminding workforce; and of the scrutiny bodies themselves as a result of the duplicative Quality Assurance and increasing levels of bureaucracy and paperwork
A written paper was submitted in advance for the committee’s consideration.

Speaking after the committee hearing, Graeme said: “This is the second time that SCMA has given oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament in just four weeks on ELC expansion. On both occasions SCMA went on the record about the devastating impact that ELC expansion has had and continues to have on the childminding workforce. 

“During this morning’s session it was very clear that committee members from across the parties within the Finance and Public Administration Committee were in no doubt as to the hidden cost of ELC expansion on childminding and were particularly interested in our written submission. 

“The evidence is compelling and growing - and requires a step change in action from the Scottish Government and COSLA.”

“Thank you to the SCMA members who have been in touch directly to provide your experiences on ELC provision. We will continue to represent members’ experiences and provide updates.  We await the Committee’s report and recommendations with interest.”  

You can watch a recording of the Scottish Parliament Finance and Public Administration Committee (Tuesday 21 June) in full HERE (session begins at 10.53 on the timer).