Early learning and childcare service model for 2020: consultation paper

This joint consultation with COSLA sets out the Funding Follows the Child approach and seeks views on the proposed National Standard that will underpin it.

Section 4: Next Steps and the Transition Period to 2020

Transitional Arrangements

Existing funded ELC providers will be expected to meet the National Standard from the full statutory roll out of entitlement to 1140 hours. If they are unable to demonstrate that they meet the criteria, their funded provider status will be withdrawn. Existing ELC providers who are not currently offering the funded hours but wish to start offering them, will be eligible to apply only if they meet the National Standard.

Newly established ELC settings will receive a full inspection from the Care Inspectorate within 12 months of being registered. The Care Inspectorate's advice is that, provided they have been approved through the Care Inspectorate registration process as fit to deliver a daycare of children service, settings need not wait for their first inspection before being able to apply for funded provider status. The rigour of the registration process should provide reassurance that the setting is able to deliver funded ELC on a probationary basis, pending the outcome of their first inspection, provided the local authority is assured that they meet all other aspects of the National Standard.

Allowing new settings to deliver the funded hours on a probationary basis, will be important for improving accessibility of funded provision. In some areas, especially in remote and rural areas, new ELC settings may not be financially viable without being able to offer funded provision from the outset. This exception will also be important in encouraging new innovative provision, including outdoor nurseries and provision developed by community enterprises.

Funded providers who drop below the required quality criteria will be given a fair 'service improvement period' in which to address this before their funded provider status is removed. For example, where an existing funded provider falls below 'good' gradings, they will be inspected again within 6 to 12 months (focusing on aspects of the service that require to improve). Provided the Care Inspectorate is satisfied that the setting is still fit to operate, the provider will have until that next inspection to return its gradings to good. (Note that service improvement period will not apply to new settings who were given probationary status.)

Next Steps:

Guidance to support transitional arrangement for providers and local authorities will be developed as part of the suite of operating and support guidance to be published in Autumn 2018.

Question 7: Should newly established ELC settings be able to deliver the funded hours on a probationary basis, pending the outcome of their first inspection, provided they meet all other aspects of the National Standard? Are there any particular challenges or issues that may arise from this approach?

Question 8: What support will service providers require to prepare for the introduction of the National Standard and meet the criteria and delivery of the new service model?

Next Steps

Through the Service Models Working Group, and working with providers, we will publish, as part of a suite of operating guidance and supporting material for providers and local authorities, in Autumn 2018:

1. a set of principles, supported by guidance to support local authorities and providers to establish affordable and sustainable rates for delivery of the funded hours.

2. guidance, including key principles, and templates to promote simplicity in the approach to become or continue to be a funded provider.

3. guidance to support transitional arrangements for providers and local authorities.

4. guidance to support providers meet the business sustainability criteria and will provide further detail on what is expected by: (a) current funded providers; (b) new providers wanting to deliver the funded ELC, and; (c) existing providers not currently funded providers but who want to deliver the funded ELC.

5. technical guidance to support local authorities and providers in the private and third sectors and relevant childminding organisations to implement the 'real' Living Wage commitment, across all of the ELC sector in Scotland.

Consultation Questions

Question 1: What factors should be considered in developing a simple, standardised yet flexible process for becoming a funded provider?

Question 2: What are the key shared principles which should underpin an effective and positive partnership between local authorities and funded providers?

Question 3a: We are proposing that the National Standard includes a qualification requirement for childminders delivering the funded entitlement to be qualified to or working towards the same qualification level as is required for an ELC practitioner ( SCQF level 7). What are the advantages of including this criteria?

Question 3b: Are childminders able to access adequate funding to pay for training to SCQF level 7? Are childminders able to access training to SCQF level 7 in a way that is flexible enough to allow them to continue to run their businesses?

Question 4: Our aspiration is to see outdoor learning and play becoming a defining feature of funded ELC in Scotland.

  • Does criteria 3 capture this ambition? If not, how could it be strengthened in a way that is sustainable for providers?
  • What challenges, if any, exist for funded ELC providers to ensure children have access to outdoor play? How can these challenges be overcome?

Question 5a: Will the criteria set out in the draft National Standard:

  • ensure that high quality, accessible, flexible and affordable Early Learning Childcare is delivered in all funded provider settings?
  • Support increased choice for parents and carers?

Question 5b: Is there any criteria not included in the National Standard that is required to ensure a high quality service is provided to all children?

Question 5c: Do the proposed criteria within the National Standard seem fair and proportionate for all? Do the proposed variations for some criteria seem fair and proportionate for childminders?

Question 6: What areas would you look to be addressed in the technical guidance note for supporting implementation of the ELC Living Wage commitment?

Question 7: Should newly established ELC settings be able to deliver the funded hours on a probationary basis, pending the outcome of their first inspection, provided they meet all other aspects of the National Standard? Are there any particular challenges or issues that may arise from this approach?

Question 8: What support will service providers require to prepare for the introduction of the National Standard and meet the criteria and delivery of the new service model?

Responding to this Consultation

We are inviting responses to this consultation by Friday 29 th June 2018.

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation platform, Citizen Space. You view and respond to this consultation online at https://consult.gov.scot/children-and-families/service-model-for-2020. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of Friday 29 th June 2018.

If you are unable to respond online, please complete the Respondent Information Form (see "Handling your Response" below) to:

Susan Wallace
Early Learning and Childcare
Scottish Government
Area 2B-South
Victoria Quay

Handling your response

If you respond using Citizen Space ( http://consult.scotland.gov.uk/), you will be directed to the Respondent Information Form. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to published.

If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form attached included in this document. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.scotland.gov.uk. If you use Citizen Space to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to ELCexpansionconsultation@gov.scot.

Scottish Government consultation process

Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.

You can find all our consultations online: http://consult.scotland.gov.uk. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.

Consultations may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as public meetings, focus groups, or other online methods such as Dialogue ( https://www.ideas.gov.scot)

Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • indicate the need for policy development or review
  • inform the development of a particular policy
  • help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.

The respondent information form and consultation questionnaire are available in Word format (141 KB)


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