Early Learning and Childcare Strategic Forum

Role of the group

The Early Learning and Childcare Strategic Forum (ELC Strategic Forum) was set up in January 2016 and is chaired by Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years.

The purpose of the group is to develop and help implement our vision for high-quality and flexible early learning and childcare (ELC) in Scotland - integrated with an out-of-school care system - that is affordable and accessible for all.

The forum provides advice to Scottish Ministers through maintaining a high-level oversight of our ELC programme.

In particular, the ELC Strategic Forum will:

  1. develop a strategic vision for ELC and out-of-school care, including the development of a new out-of-school care framework which also considers family-friendly working
  2. inform the development and implementation of 1,140 hours by the end of this parliament, ending May 2021
  3. oversee a holistic approach to integrating funded hours with wider early learning and childcare and out-of-school care
  4. oversee and ensure the implementation of high-quality provision including access, governance, curriculum, quality assurance and improvement
  5. oversee the integration of two-year-olds into the early phase of curriculum for excellence through high-quality early learning and childcare


  • Maree Todd – Chair – Minister for Childcare and Early Years
  • Helen Martin – Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC)
  • Phillip Gillespie - Scottish Social Services Council
  • Laura Mason – ADES
  • Kevin Mitchell – Care Inspectorate
  • Christine Frame – Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Christine Stephen – University of Stirling
  • Clare Simpson – Parenting Across Scotland
  • Isobel Lightbody – West College Scotland
  • Gerald McLaughlin – NHS Health Scotland
  • Irene Audain – Scottish Out of School Care Network
  • Jean Carwood-Edwards – Early Years Scotland
  • Jane O'Donnell – COSLA
  • Cheryl Burnett – National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Lesley Gibb – ADES EY Network/ Dundee City Council
  • Maggie Simpson – Scottish Childminding Association
  • Fiona McQueen – Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government
  • Purnima Tanuku – National Day Nurseries Association
  • Jaci Douglas – Care and Learning Alliance
  • Jackie Brock – Children in Scotland
  • Satwat Reman – One Parent Families Scotland
  • Vicky Crichton – Save the Children
  • Councillor Stephen McCabe – COSLA
  • Gayle Gorman – Education Scotland
  • Angela Leith - SOLACE
  • Jim Carle - Disabled Children and Young Person Advisory Group
  • Mona Wilson - Bòrd na Gàidhlig
  • Paul Zealey - Skills Development Scotland