New National Charter sets out what children want from school-age childcare services.
Kindness, community, fun and fairness are the priorities children in Scotland have identified for a future funded school-age childcare offer, according to the new Children’s Charter launched today.
As part of the Children’s Charter – which will be used to co-design a system of school-age childcare – young people also shared their views on why childcare is needed, how it is funded, the people who should run it and the sorts of activities it should include.
Around 125 children from primary schools across Scotland created five local Charters for the best out of school care for their community. The groups of children later went on to collaborate on a National Charter, which will guide a future nationwide system of school-age childcare.
Children’s Minister Natalie Don met with some of the participants to the Charter during its formal launch at St Mungo’s School in Alloa.
Ms Don said:
“Developing a system of school-age childcare is a key priority for the Scottish Government. Giving children the opportunity to get involved at the heart of policy making ensures that we design services that better meet their needs in the future.
“As we publish the Charter during Challenge Poverty Week, all of the children that took part share our ambition to put fairness at the forefront in a future childcare system. Not only will it reduce barriers for children to access a wide range of activities and support, it will also allow parents and carers to enter or sustain employment or increase their hours at work.
“I am grateful to all of the children who participated so meaningfully in this important exercise. Their input is a vital part of our Delivery Framework, which I am also pleased to be publishing today. The Framework sets out our key action areas for building a new system of school-age childcare and how we will continue to involve children, parents, providers and communities in delivering this.”
Irene Audain MBE, Chief Executive at Scottish Out of School Care Network said:
“I welcome the launch today of the Children’s Charter for School-Age Childcare and the School-Age Childcare Delivery Framework.
“I firmly agree with the children’s priorities of Kindness, Fairness, Choice, Happiness, and Fun, in their ideal services, rooted in local communities where everyone is respected and looks out for each other, as this too is our ideal good quality service."
Councillor Graham Lindsay, Education spokesperson at Clackmannanshire Council, said: “Our approach as a Scottish Government School Age Childcare Early Adopter Community has reflected the ambition of Clackmannanshire Family Wellbeing Partnership to tackle poverty and inequalities.
“Our Child Wellbeing Project has encouraged community groups and childcare providers in Alloa to work together to provide school-age childcare which is funded for priority families and this is already making a huge impact.
“St Mungo’s children thoroughly enjoyed participating in creating the National Children’s Charter for School Age Childcare and it is wonderful to see their hard work reflected at the launch today.”
Currently, all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds are able to take up 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare in Scotland. Work is underway with local authorities and other partners to phase in an expanded national offer for families with two-year-olds, as well as targeted early delivery of all age childcare for low income families.
The School-Age Childcare Delivery Framework sets out the Scottish Government’s ambition for a new system of school-age childcare and provides information about our key action areas and our transformational approach to service design with children, parents and communities.
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