Publication - Minutes

ELC Strategic Forum minutes: December 2017

Published: 29 Mar 2018
Location: Scottish Parliament Committee Room 5, Edinburgh

Minutes of the meeting of the Early Learning and Childcare Strategic Forum on 5 December 2017.

29 Mar 2018
ELC Strategic Forum minutes: December 2017

Attendees and apologies


  • Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years
  • Vicky Crichton, Save the Children
  • Jaci Douglas, CALA
  • Anna Fowlie, SSSC
  • Satwat Rehman, One Parent Families Scotland
  • Maggie Simpson, Scottish Childminding Association
  • Jean Carwood-Edwards, Early Years Scotland
  • Catherine Agnew, Care Inspectorate
  • Irene Audain, Scottish Out of School Care Network
  • Christine Stephen, Stirling University
  • Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive, NDNA
  • Jackie Brock, Children in Scotland
  • Helen Martin, Scottish Trades Union Congress
  • Cheryl Burnett, National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Janie McManus, Education Scotland

SG attendees

  • Alison Cumming, Scottish Government
  • Gemma Boggs, Scottish Government
  • Janet Dunsmuir, Scottish Government


  • Lesley Gibb, ADES Early Years Network (no delegate)
  • Laura Mason, ADES (no delegate)
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer (no delegate)
  • Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate (delegate Catherine Agnew)
  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland (attends for Jackie Brock who is attending)
  • Davina Coupar, West College Scotland (no delegate)
  • Jane O’Donnell, COSLA (no delegate)
  • Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA Spokesperson on Children and Young People
  • Graeme Logan, Education Scotland (delegate Janie McManus)

Items and actions

1. Welcome and introductory session

The Minister welcomed everyone to the meeting. No items were put forward under AOB.

2. Minute of last meeting

The minute was approved with no changes. Forum members were advised that approved minutes of meetings are published on SG website.

The action log was reviewed, outstanding actions to be closed.

3. ELC expansion plans – review update

Members were given a brief overview of the review process. The Delivery Support Team and the Policy Team worked closely on the review process and the Delivery Support Team engaged with local authorities from mid October to mid November. Key messages will be summarised in the report due to be published later in December. Engagement on expansion plans will continue over the coming months.

The Chair acknowledged the significant effort and engagement of local authorities and partner providers in the expansion planning process.

The Chair invited comment from members and during discussion the following points were made:

  • the key expansion planning principle is to make best use of existing assets
  • all plans referred to parental and community engagement and the Scottish Government will continue to look to be assured of engagement and to work with local authorities to promote engagement.
  • concern was raised on provision of sustainable funding for private/ 3rd sector providers. This concern is recognised by the Scottish Government and Local Authorities. Care will be taken to ensure that sustainable funding will be in place
  • local authorities are at different stages in the planning process and expansion plans are continuing to evolve. Some are available on local authority websites
  • in response to a request for Forum members to be given access to expansion plans, as plans are owned by local authorities, the Scottish Government will discuss this with COSLA

    Action 7/01 – Scottish Government officials to discuss provision of expansion plans to forum members with COSLA.

  • STUC would welcome the opportunity to meet with Scottish Government officials to discuss provision within the quality standard regarding access to teachers. Scottish Government officials will arrange a meeting

    Action: 7/02 – Scottish Government officials to arrange meeting with STUC to discuss Quality Standard and access to teachers.

4. Emerging themes from 2018 to 2019 action plan

Members were advised that planning is underway for upcoming plans for the years 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21 and early input from members would be welcomed. The Chair invited comment from members. Suggestions included the following:

  • learn lessons from trials particularly the challenges and the child’s experience
  • consider current practice in the use of outdoors and environment
  • begin to address the difference in terms and conditions in the private and public sectors
  • make the best use of the opportunity afforded by parental engagement around the Education Bill and family learning
  • consider coherence across policy agendas and how different policy frameworks can come together, including out of school care

5. AOB and close

The next meeting will be in March 2018 and invitations will be issues as soon as possible.

The Chair expressed her thanks to everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting and looks forward to working with everyone in future.