Publication - Minutes

Early Learning and Childcare Joint Delivery Board minutes: March 2021

Date of meeting: 2 Mar 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 2 March 2021.

Early Learning and Childcare Joint Delivery Board minutes: March 2021

Attendees and apologies

Members

  • Maree Todd, Minister for CYP (Chair)
  • Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA Spokesperson CYP
  • Alison Cumming, SG Interim Director of ELC Programme
  • Eddie Follan, Chief Officer Children and Young People, COSLA
  • Simon Mair, SG Head of Delivery Assurance
  • Hannah Keates, ELC Team Leader, Scottish Government
  • Laura Mason, Chief Education Officer, West Dunbartonshire Council, ADES
  • Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate
  • Matthew Sweeney, COSLA
  • Margo Williamson, Chief Executive, Angus Council
  • Gary Fairley, Midlothian, Representing Directors of Finance

Additional attendees

  • Adam Hall, Improvement Service
  • Ann Jacob-Chandler, Scottish Futures Trust
  • Leona Devlin, ELC Delivery Assurance Officer, Scottish Government

Apologies

  • Peter MacLeod, Care Inspectorate
  • Adam Hall, Improvement Service
  • Chris Dunne, SG Head of Operations and Assurance

Items and actions

Agenda

  • welcome and introductions (Maree Todd, chair)
  • introduction and matters arising (Maree Todd, chair)
  • delivery assurance update on 1140 (Simon Mair, Head of Delivery Assurance, Scottish Government)
  • SFT update on infrastructure (Alison CummingDirector of ELC Programme)
  • 1140 communication plan (Hannah Keates, ELC Team Leader, SG)
  • AOB (Alison Cumming, Director of ELC Programme)
  • wrap up session with officials (Alison Cumming, Director)

Welcome and introductions

Chair welcomed members to the meeting and Ms Todd thanked members for progress and hard work on the delivery of 1140 to date.

Introduction and matters arising

The minutes were agreed by the Board.

Delivery assurance update on 1140

Simon Mair introduced paper 031 on the Delivery Assurance update of 1140. The overall position of delivery hasn’t changed significantly. The SSI was passed by the Education and Skills Committee last week and will be voted on in Parliament this week. The Delivery Assurance team is working closely with councils on any thematic issues and continuing their ongoing engagement. The Delivery Steering Group has been discussing the Delivery Risk Profile which will include reviewing the sharing and ownership of each risk.

The Improvement Service data collection returns are due by 15 March and will analyse the findings in a report by 26 March. The Scottish Government and Improvement Service propose that at the next Joint Delivery Board we will provide an update based on the data collection report and overall deliverability.

For the board to note, the Temporary Restrictions Fund will also help private providers going forward and the Scottish Government is working closely on support for school aged childcare providers.

Key points from discussion:

  • the board highlighted the importance of the Delivery Steering Group and the peer support to local authorities from ADES Networks has become a helpful partnership offer
  • the next Joint Delivery Board should be focussed on Covid risk and public health restrictions to allow some thought on the likely position by August and how we can support Local Authorities which are reporting challenges with implementing 1140 while current restrictions remain in place
  • the Mid-Year Stocktake report will be helpful to identify any other external factors impacting on the programme
  • the second lockdown has caused an impact on delivery, however construction was able to continue which has been instrumental to Local Authorities remaining on track to deliver in August

The Board were in agreement that the next Joint Delivery Board will consist of further conversations around Covid risk, public health measures and the Mid-Year Stocktake.

SFT update on infrastructure

This progress update is based on local authority infrastructure returns in January 2021 along with further updates gained through ongoing dialogue. The next full refresh of the infrastructure data set is planned for April 2021.

As of January 2021, there are 917 projects in the capital programme delivering c.22,000 additional spaces.

It is estimated that around 64% of the capital projects are now complete, delivering around 54% of the total planned additional space. Around 89% of the total planned number of projects are forecast to be complete by August 2021. 

Recognising that some projects are not essential for the immediate provision of the expanded service, local authorities were asked to identify which capital projects are required to deliver a full 1140-hour service. It is estimated that 615 capital projects are required to support the delivery of a full 1140-hour service with 79% of those currently forecast to be complete by April 2021, increasing to 94% by August 2021.

Key points from discussion:

  • the board agreed that it was encouraging to hear the risk decreasing within infrastructure, along with critical projects being delivered which is very heartening to see
  • it’s important to understand the transitional plans going forward and be fully confident in each
  • the Finance Working Group continue to closely monitor the impacts of Covid on the capital programme, including any potential market pressures

Delivery risk register

Alison Cumming raised the point that the Board have been focussing on delivery risk, however we are keen to ensure the Joint Delivery Board is sighted on all elements of the Programme, including delivery of national projects and risks associated with their delivery. Our aim is to have a combined programme and delivery risk approach, with RAG status and an output tracker for future Joint Delivery Board meetings.

1140 communications plan

Hannah Keates explained that this time last year communications on the expansion programme was very much high and Scottish Government are aiming to put a communications plan in place ahead of August 2021. Once the SSI has been agreed by Parliament, we will release statements from Ms Todd and Cllr McCabe and reengage with the positive news of 1140. Hannah Keates also had a positive meeting with Laura Mason on issuing a letter to chief executives and appearing at the ADES Directors Network in order to raise the profile of 1140.

It was flagged than within the press release it is important to highlight councils who are already been delivering 1140 and include some positive case studies.

Care Inspectorate raised that they will prioritise and support any outstanding applications for new registrations and variations in relation to delivery of 1140.

AOB

The Delivery Assurance Team will work closely with the Delivery Steering Group ahead of the check point review in April which will then be presented to the board as a Mid-Year Stocktake.