#TellSCMA: Childminders and Parents’ Experiences of funded Early Learning and Childcare

#TellSCMA: Childminders and Parents’ Experiences of funded Early Learning and Childcare
SCMA is conducting two important surveys to help us to gauge a wide range of experiences of funded ELC – one survey is for childminders, and one is for parents and carers:

  • We need childminders to tell us about their experience and interest in delivering funded ELC; or for those of you who are not currently involved in funded ELC provision - help us understand the reason for this. Complete our Childminder ELC Survey
  • Share our parents’ and carers’ survey with your families – to help us find out if the funded ELC provision they are offered by their local authority is what they need. Share our Parent/Carer ELC Survey
We would like to hear from a wide range of childminders - those who are not currently delivering funded ELC or not interested in doing so – as well as those who are. We would also like to hear from you if you are in the process of applying to become a funded ELC provider. For childminders considering becoming involved in providing funded hours - taking part in our survey will also help us to measure future interest in delivering funded ELC.  

How can you help? 
We are commissioned annually by Scottish Government to undertake an audit reporting local authorities’ progress in including childminders in delivering funded hours to increase choice for parents. This year’s audit is currently underway, but this only captures local authorities’ experience; to provide us with a fuller picture - we want to hear about your experiences - and that of parents and carers.   

Over the last few years, much work has been undertaken around Scotland in support of the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver 1140 free or ‘funded hours’ of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) to parents/carers of all three, four and eligible two-year-olds. 

The entitlement to 1140 funded hours was originally due to be implemented in full by August 2020 but was delayed until August 2021 due to the pandemic. 

It was intended that:
  • the entitlement of 1140 hours is flexible and responsive to parents and families’ needs.
  • the funding for these hours should follow the child.
  • parents and carers should be able to choose how and from which childcare providers they would like to receive funded hours.
  • any childcare provider, including childminders, meeting the criteria within the accompanying National Standard and willing to enter into a contract to deliver funded hours should also have been able to do so from this date.
However, childminders often contact us to tell us of the frustrations of families regarding funded hours – often there is a disconnect between what parents need and what they are offered by their local authority, and we need to hear from parents and carers to find out more about their experiences too.      

#TellSCMA Your Views 

Childminders, parents and carers should complete the appropriate survey by Friday 24 September (extended closing date)

It will take no more than 5-10 minutes of your time and we would very much appreciate your feedback.