Scottish Government pledges to take action following the ELC Audit from SCMA

Scottish Government pledges to take action following the ELC Audit from SCMA
The Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd, has formally responded to the SCMA ELC Audit and has listened to the concerns and recommendations that childminder members have raised ahead of the expansion of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC).

In October 2019, SCMA published its ELC Audit 2019, which reported a number of worrying trends including the on-going low level of inclusion of childminders in the delivery of ELC funded hours.   

Within our Audit we made a number of recommendations including action to accelerate the inclusion of childminders in ELC delivery, the Scottish Government to support SCMA to undertake research into the declining workforce, and a need for a childminding-specific recruitment campaign to bring more people into childminding. 

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive of SCMA, said: “It’s clear that the Scottish Government recognises these issues, is listening to the concerns and experiences of members and is taking action to support childminding. 

“We are pleased that the Scottish Government is acting to remind local authorities across Scotland that if parents or carers request to use their funded hours with a childminder, and the childminder meets the National Standard and is willing to enter into a contract, they must be able to do so. 

“In parallel, the Scottish Government will do more to promote how childminding can feature within local expansion plans, share best practice about the involvement of childminding and the opportunity to support local authorities in their contracting with childminders.

“We also particularly welcome the Scottish Government’s recognition of the declining trends, which have been experienced within the childminding workforce in the last few years and their commitment to fund vital three-way research into this, to be undertaken jointly and collaboratively by the Scottish Government, SCMA and the Care Inspectorate. This research will be used to inform any actions which are required to support and retain childminders within the workforce and to recruit more people into childminding.”

SCMA members should be reassured that your voice is being heard. 

All members will have received an email copy of the personal message from Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People to you all, regarding the actions that the Scottish Government will be taking forward following our recommendations.

At SCMA, we will continue to ensure that your views and experiences are reflected nationally, regionally and locally - not just in relation to ELC - but in relation to all areas of childminding practice in Scotland.