Recruiting and retaining childminders

Supporting the Early Learning and Childcare sector.

Plans to grow Scotland’s childminding workforce by 1,000 and provide more support to childminders have been announced.

Backed by more than £1m Scottish Government funding, the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) will scale up their successful childminder recruitment pilot programme across the country, starting with 16 local authority areas.

As well as support through the registration process, a £750 start-up grant will be available for newly-registered childminders completing the programme to help set up their new business.

For existing childminders, it will provide more practical assistance and include developing a mentoring scheme – helping to reduce workplace isolation and create networks of support, which will be piloted from January 2025.

Visiting a Childminder in Glasgow, the Minister for Children, Young People and The Promise Natalie Don said:

“Childminders provide vital support to children and parents and are an important part of Scotland’s thriving Early Learning and Childcare sector.

“The support provided by the pilot projects to date has made a real difference for the families they help. This investment will not only help us grow the childminding workforce by 1,000, it will also support existing childminders, which is essential as we look to increase the workforce.”

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive of the Scottish Childminding Association, said:

“We are delighted to be at the forefront of delivering the Programme for Scotland’s Childminding Future. We’ve worked hard on behalf of childminders, families and communities around Scotland to secure this important funding which recognises the need to take action to ensure that the childminding workforce has a strong future.

“Childminding businesses play a vital role in providing high-quality, flexible childcare for families, and contribute to child poverty reduction by enabling parents to work, seek work or stay in work. The programme will enable us to improve the retention of the existing workforce and to work with local authorities to nationally scale-up the childminder recruitment model.”


More details on the Programme for Scotland’s Childminding Future can be found at

The 16 areas running the programme will be Renfrewshire, West Lothian, Dumfries & Galloway, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Falkirk, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City, Edinburgh, Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire, Argyll & Bute, Fife, Midlothian, Inverclyde and Clackmannanshire.

Funding of £935,000 has been agreed for delivery of the programme in 2024-25, with a further £187,500 funding also available this year towards childminder start-up grants.

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive of the Scottish Childminding Association is available for interview, please contact

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