/ Wellbeing

Professional childminders are ideally placed during this COVID-19 crisis to support vulnerable children and their families, providing a nurturing, safe space for children to thrive during challenging times.

SCMA is delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisation (SCVO) ‘Wellbeing Fund’ to co-ordinate the matching of vulnerable children with childminders in their area who can provide a safe, nurturing environment for a few sessions each week, for up to eight weeks.

This initiative is supported by Scottish Government as part of a co-ordinated response to the need for critical childcare for vulnerable families while other ELC settings and schools remain closed. Unlike other ELC providers, childminders are allowed to stay open during current restrictions if providing childcare to key worker or vulnerable children.

About Childminding

Childminding has one of the highest quality ratings in Scotland, with 92% of childminders achieving ‘good’ or above across all quality ratings at inspection. Evidence has shown childminding can enhance a child’s early learning, confidence and their social development.

What is the Wellbeing Service for?

The Wellbeing Service will enable up to 100 vulnerable children in all areas across Scotland to spend some time every week with a childminder (typically two, four-hour sessions a week) up to a maximum of eight weeks.

Professional childminders will provide children with a nurturing, safe space as well as providing respite for parents who may have poor mental health, be affected by domestic abuse, or where there may be additional support needs.

Who can apply?

Organisations which work directly with families are well placed to identify children and young people who would benefit from support from out with their own home during these difficult times.

Applications are welcome from all areas of Scotland and will be allocated depending on local need and demand and will take into account the capacity of childminding services.

The criteria for assessing whether children are classed as ‘vulnerable’ and therefore eligible to access this service includes:

children whose names are on the child protection register

children who are looked after at home or away from home (in foster, kinship care or residential care); and children who are ‘on the edge of care’ and whose families will be under particular strain during the current crisis

children who have complex additional support needs

children affected by poverty and deprivation.

For further information regarding the definition of ‘vulnerable’ children, please refer to the Scottish Government guidance on vulnerable children and young people.

How to apply

If you have a family in mind that would benefit from being matched to a childminder, please complete our Referral Form and send to the Scottish Childminding Association by emailing wellbeingservice@childminding.org. We anticipate the first placements to commence in early June.