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Publication - Minutes

ELC Strategic Forum minutes: December 2018

Published: 22 May 2019
Date of meeting: 18 Dec 2018
Date of next meeting: 3 Mar 2019

Minutes of the meeting of the Early Learning and Childcare Strategic Forum, held on 18 December 2018.

22 May 2019
ELC Strategic Forum minutes: December 2018

Attendees and apologies


  • Catherine Agnew, Care Inspectorate
  • Jean Carwood-Edwards, EYS
  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland (for Jackie Brock)
  • Vicky Crichton, Save the Children
  • Nicola Dickie, COSLA
  • Laura Lamb, SSSC
  • Jane Malcolm, NDNA (for Purnima Tanuka)
  • Helen Martin, STUC
  • Jacqueline McLellan, West College Scotland
  • Mairi Morrison, Bòrd na Gàidhlig
  • Norma Ruettimann, CALA (for Jaci Douglas)
  • Andrew Shoolbread, Scottish Out of School Care Network (for Irene Audain)
  • Clare Simpson, Children in Scotland
  • Maggie Simpson, SCMA
  • Christine Stephen, Stirling University
  • Matthew Sweeney, COSLA
  • Debby Wason, NHS Health
  • Paul Zealey, SDS

SG attendees

  • Joe Griffin, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Andrew Connal, Scottish Government
  • Sarah Duncan, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
  • Chris Dunne, Scottish Government


  • Jackie Brock, Children in Scotland
  • Cheryl Burnett, National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Jim Carle, Disabled Children and Young Person Advisory Group
  • Christine Frame, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Lesley Gibb, Dundee City Council
  • Gayle Gorman, Education Scotland
  • Angela Leitch, SOLACE
  • Isobel Lightbody, West College Scotland
  • Gerald McLaughlin, NHS Health Scotland
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Laura Mason, ADES
  • Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate
  • Satwat Rehman, One Parent Families Scotland
  • Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive, NDNA
  • Magaidh Wentworth, Commun na Gàidhlig

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 18 September 2018 was approved. The action log was reviewed and it was confirmed that all actions had been completed and were now closed. 

Programme update

Chair provided members with an update on the Programme and key points noted were:

  • the Joint Delivery Board meeting in October focussed on delivery progress data collected from local authorities by the Improvement Service which highlighted positive progress across the programme
  • there was discussion around the level of recruitment into the sector being under forecast and it was confirmed that all possible opportunities were being taken to promote the sector and maximise diversity in the workforce
  • concerns around the fall in new childminder registrations and the impact of staff moving from private/third sector ELC and OOSC settings into public sector services due to better terms and conditions were acknowledged
  • it was noted that increased sharing of good practice and conversations between local authorities and partner providers on the Knowledge Hub resource would be helpful

Action 11/01: It was agreed to share links to published documents with members.

Evaluation of ELC expansion 

Andrew Connal and Deborah Wason presented an overview of the Scottish Study of Early Learning and Childcare (SSELC).  Members were then invited to discuss their views on the SSELC in small groups.

Key points identified through table discussion for further consideration:

  • Gaelic medium provision included in the evaluation
  • capture the impact of the expansion on birth to three and out of school care services
  • capture the impact and availability of other early interventions on attainment
  • capture provision that includes parents/carers as part of the offer
  • possible outcome for logic and mathematical thinking, not just language development

Update on National Standard 

Members were advised that the National Standard was now published on the Scottish Government website alongside operating guidance for providers and local authorities and the Minister would be making a statement to Parliament on ELC on 19 December.

Any other business and close

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

The Chair expressed his thanks to members for attending meetings over the past year as their input had contributed towards the significant progress the programme has made.


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Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Programme
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