Publication - Minutes

ELC Strategic Forum minutes: June 2019

Published: 5 Sep 2019

Minutes of the meeting of the Early Learning and Childcare Strategic Forum, held on 4 June 2019.

5 Sep 2019
ELC Strategic Forum minutes: June 2019

Attendees and apologies


  • Jo Griffin (Chair)
  • Catherine Agnew, Care Inspectorate
  • Jonathan Broadberry, National Day Nurseries Association (for Purnima Tanuka)
  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland (for Jackie Brock)
  • Francesca de Munnich, Save the Children (for Vicky Crichton)
  • Michele Doull, Early Years Scotland (for Jean Carwood-Edwards)
  • Alison Cumming, ELC Programme Deputy Director
  • Jaci Douglas, Care and Learning Alliance
  • Yvonne Grant, National Parent Forum of Scotland (for Cheryl Burnett)
  • Laura Lamb, Scottish Social Services Council
  • Helen Martin, Scottish Trades Union Congress
  • Graeme McAlister, Scottish Childminding Association
  • Sheree McAlpine, ELC Communications & Engagement Manager
  • Mairi Morrison, Bòrd na Gàidhlig
  • Satwat Rehman, One Parent Families Scotland
  • Clare Simpson, Parenting Across Scotland
  • Shona Taylor, Education Scotland (for Gayle Gorman)
  • Deborah Wason, NHS Health Scotland
  • Magaidh Wentworth, Commun na Gàidhlig
  • Paul Zealey, SDS

SG attendees

  • Sarah Duncan, Secretariat     
  • Clare Furze, Head of Quality Unit
  • Claire Somerville, ELC UEE Project
  • Katherine Tierney, ELC UEE Project


  • Irene Audain, Scottish Out of School Care Network
  • Jim Carle, Disabled Children and Young Person Advisory Group
  • Nicola Dickie, COSLA
  • Lesley Gibb, ADES EY Network
  • Angela Leitch, SOLACE
  • Laura Mason, ADES
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Christine Frame, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Isobel Lightbody, West College Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and minute of last meeting

Chair Joe Griffin welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made. The minute of the meeting of 6 March 2019 was approved. It was confirmed that there were no outstanding actions. 

Programme update

Chair referred members to the Programme Update that had been issued on 28 May and noted the following additional points:

  • the Joint Delivery Board continues to oversee progress towards implementation of the expansion from August 2020, including reviewing delivery progress data submitted by local authorities
  • 1 year to go communications were being prepared for August which would include case studies highlighting creative approaches being taken to ensure delivery readiness
  • key risks to delivery remain workforce challenges, capital programmes and partnership relationship issues
  • anecdotal evidence from early phasing had been positive and reported a significant impact being experienced by families

Key areas of discussion:

  • it was noted that local authorities approach their statutory duty to consult on provision differently.  The Equality Impact Assessment and Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment carried out for the programme will consider associated issues
  • the sector remained concerned around local authorities recruiting from private providers although there were examples of in-house recruitment approaches and expanded training support being offered.  It was agreed that respectful working relationships were important and the expansion was an opportunity to recruit a more diverse workforce.  It was agreed it would be helpful to share examples of good practice more proactively
  • it was noted that the housing sector was also expanding and there may be an opportunity for developer contributions to be used to improve ELC provision in growth areas

Action 13/01: Scottish Government to share examples of recruitment good practice with the sector.

Parental communications

Claire Somerville presented an update on the Parental Engagement Strategy that had been developed following the workshop held with members in November 2018. Key areas of discussion:

  • parental communications needed to make clear what the national offer is and how this is being made available locally, especially around 2 year old eligibility
  • it was noted that practitioners, health professionals and childminders would have a key role in spreading messaging in their communities however this required clear and consistent messages to be provided
  • wording being developed had been tested with parent groups to ensure plain English rather as policy language or terminology was used and it was requested that guidance on this be included in the toolkit being developed and shared on Knowledge Hub
  • it was recognised that parents in rural areas have less options therefore managing expectations would be a key element of national messaging by providing links to Care Inspectorate and local authority websites to check local options
  • it was noted that different approaches to phasing had made it confusing for some parents to understand the transition from paid for childcare to funded hours, with many not aware that from 2020 they will increasingly be able to stay with their current service if desired.  Further discussions were planned to ensure local communications reflect the introduction of the National Standard

Action 13/02: Secretariat to share presentation slides with members.

The presentation was followed by table discussions to provide feedback on the Parental Engagement Strategy. Comments were recorded separately for consideration by the Uptake, Eligibility and Engagement Project.


The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 3 September 2019, invites would be issued in due course. 

It was noted that membership of the group was continually under review and proposals for new representatives would be welcomed.