Early learning and childcare service model for 2020: consultation analysis
Analysis of responses to the joint Scottish Government and COSLA consultation on the new Early Learning and Childcare service model for 2020.
Chapter 11 Other issues
Throughout the consultation, respondents raised a number of points that did not directly correspond to a specific consultation question:
- Criteria 5 – Accessibility
- Hours of delivery and wraparound hours
- Top-up fee
- Criteria 6 – Business sustainability
- Criteria 9 – Food.
Each of these points is explored in more detail below.
11.1 Criteria 5 – Accessibility
Respondents raised the following points with regards to Criteria 5 – Accessibility:
Respondents highlighted the importance for ensuring that ELC services under the new model are accessible to children with additional support needs (ASN). It was suggested that parents and carers whose children have ASN should have a choice between different providers which are inclusive and accessible for children with ASN.
It was proposed that funded providers should receive additional funding when working with children with ASN and that staff in all ELC settings should have greater access to training about working with children with ASN.
In addition, respondents highlighted the importance for ELC provision to be accessible for parents and children living in deprived neighbourhoods,
11.2 Hours of delivery wraparound hours
Respondents demanded greater clarity on the exact number of hours parents will be able to access funded hours per day and the patterns of delivery, ie mornings, afternoon or full-time (for how this relates to parents' choice, see Chapter 7). They also suggested that funded providers should deliver funded ELC for up to 10 hours a day. However, respondents drew attention to the fact that this would affect private providers' business model, which currently also relies on charging parents for wraparound hours. Should private providers lose the opportunity to charge parents for wraparound hours, the importance of a sustainable funding rate was raised (see also Chapter 3).
11.3 Top-up fees
One of the requirements under Criteria 8 is that no top-up fees are charged to parents relating to the statutory hours. Some respondents highlighted that they disagreed with this and wanted be able to charge parents top-up fees for entitlement hours. This was also raised in discussions at some of the consultation events. It was suggested that this may be necessary for some providers to remain financially sustainable (depending on the funding rate), particularly where they were seen to be delivering a higher quality offer. Independent schools were most likely to raise this issue.
More generally, respondents demanded clarity about what exactly providers are able to additionally charge parents for.
1.4 Criteria 6 – Business sustainability
Respondents generally welcomed the requirement for providers to be financially sustainable (as outlined in criteria 6 of the National Standard). However, they also drew attention to the risk that the proposals outlined in the National Standard – including the reduced opportunity to charge for wraparound hours due to the expansion (see 12.2) and the requirement to pay the living wage (see Chapter 8) – may reduce the business sustainability of some providers.
11.5 Criteria 9 - Food
Respondents raised the following two points with regards to Criteria 9 – Food of the National Standard:
Respondents outlined that they would like to have greater clarity on what exactly constitutes a "meal" and how eligibility to meals relates to number of sessions children access on a certain day, e.g. whether children will be eligible for multiple meals should they access funded ELC service from 8am-6pm on certain days.
Respondents also highlighted that some providers, particularly childminders, do not currently have facilities and staff capacities to provide food.
Email: Euan Carmichael
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