News

Support for providers of school age childcare

Published: 19 Mar 2021 13:19

Pilot childcare projects also announced.

Providers of school age childcare affected by continued restrictions on their services due to coronavirus (COVID-19) can now access targeted financial support.

Up to £3 million is being made available through the Scottish Government’s Temporary Restrictions Fund, which is now targeted solely at providers of school aged childcare following the full reopening of nurseries and other early learning and childcare (ELC) settings.

All open school age childcare providers will be able to access a support grant for each week in which they are open. Grants will vary between £144 and £2,800 depending on their capacity and how many weeks the setting was open.

In addition, all registered settings, whether open or closed, will be able to claim a restart grant of between £750 and £2,000 based on their capacity, to support reopening following the end of restrictions.

As outlined in the School Age Childcare Progress Report published today, Ministers have also confirmed funding for three childcare pilot projects to test different approaches to providing school-age childcare.

The Scottish Childminding Association will receive almost £250,000 as part of the Access to Childcare Fund to develop their Community Childminding model to deliver childminding placements that will support parents and carers to take up jobs.

Ayr United Football Academy will use £70,000 to set up an after school and holiday sports club for children at three local primaries and a secondary school.

The Mull and Iona Community Trust will receive £180,000 to develop and deliver school age childcare services on Mull as part of a project which will explore ways to provide childcare with the flexibility required in island communities.

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said:

“We know that the last year has been challenging for many school age childcare providers, and I am pleased we can provide targeted financial support for the sector.

“School age childcare services play a vital role in providing children with opportunities to play and socialise, while also helping parents and carers to access work and training opportunities.

“These services will be crucial in supporting children, families and the wider economic recovery in the months ahead.”

Background

The School Age Childcare Progress Report captures what has been learned from our public consultation and sets out the steps we are taking to move closer to our vision for school age childcare in Scotland. It provides an insight into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, families, and the childcare sector. Within the report, we have committed to continuing to work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a strategic framework for school age childcare, establishing a public panel to inform policy development, undertaking a financial sustainability health check of the sector, and supporting pilot projects to test the changes needed to deliver accessible, affordable and flexible school age childcare for families in Scotland.

More information about support for the childcare sector.

Mull and Iona Community Trust pilot
The project will be delivered by MICT in partnership with other third sector organisations. Working closely with local stakeholders, it will provide a new school age childcare service for families on Mull for whom there is currently very limited formal service.

Ayr United Football Academy pilot
The after school clubs will take place at all four schools weekly, over 40 weeks each year. Sessions will last two and a half hours per night and will be open to any pupil who attends one of the named schools or from its surrounding communities. The activities will vary week to week but will be based around sport, outdoors activities and using the schools' facilities. The Holiday Club will take place during Summer, October, Christmas, and Easter school holidays.

As part of the childcare offer, AUFA will also deliver two employability courses over the two years, each programme lasting 12 weeks each with participants taking part twice a week. The programme is aimed at parents/carers gaining new qualifications, experiencing job opportunities, exercising twice per week, linking with their local job centre and ultimately providing a package that will give someone confidence to start a new career or further the career they are currently involved in.

Scottish Childminding Association pilot
The SCMA will work with local employability support services and individuals looking for employment to offer flexible, affordable and accessible childcare that can allow for a transition from unemployment to employment.

Funded placements will be offered for up to 20 hours a week for up to 12 weeks, for both before and after school care.

120 placements will be provided across two criteria strands as follows:

• 110 placements to be offered to families who meet one or more of the following criteria:
 lone Parents
 families which include a child with Additional Support Needs
 larger families
 minority ethnic families
 families where the mother is under 25 years of age

• 10 placements to be offered to families with children who have Additional Support Needs and require individual specialised support.

The project supports the Scottish Government’s Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan