Publication - Minutes

ELC Strategic Forum minutes: March 2018

Published: 19 Jun 2018
Location: Scottish Parliament Committee Room 4, Edinburgh

Minutes of the meeting of the Early Learning and Childcare Strategic Forum on 29 March 2018.

19 Jun 2018
ELC Strategic Forum minutes: March 2018

Attendees and apologies


  • Vicky Crichton, Save the Children
  • Jaci Douglas, CALA
  • Anna Fowlie, SSSC
  • Audrey Cowie, SSSC Council Member
  • Satwat Rehman, One Parent Families Scotland
  • Maggie Simpson, Scottish Childminding Association
  • Jean Carwood-Edwards, Early Years Scotland
  • Catherine Agnew, Care Inspectorate
  • Clare Simpson, Children in Scotland
  • Helen Martin, Scottish Trades Union Congress
  • Cheryl Burnett, National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Laura Mason, ADES
  • Paul Zealey, Skills Development Scotland
  • Laura Caven, COSLA
  • Andrew Shoolbread, Scottish Out of School Care Network (delegate for Irene Audain)
  • Andrew Scott, Scottish Government and member of Disabled Children and Young Person Advisory Group (delegate for Jim Carle)
  • Jane Malcolm, NDNA (delegate for Purnima Tanuku)
  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland (delegate for Jackie Brock)
  • Isobel Lightbody, West College Scotland (delegate for Davina Coupar)
  • Mona Wilson, Director of Gaelic Education, Bòrd na Gàidhlig
  • Angela Leitch, SOLACE
  • Debbie Wason, Public Health Adviser, NHS Health Scotland (delegate for Gerald McLaughlin)
  • Gayle Gorman, Education Scotland


  • Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA Spokesperson on Children and Young People
  • Christine Stephen, Stirling University
  • Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive, NDNA
  • Kevin Mitchell, Care Inspectorate (delegate for Catherine Agnew)
  • Jane O’Donnell, COSLA
  • Jim Carle, Chair, Disabled Children and Young Person Advisory Group
  • Davina Coupar, West College Scotland
  • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer
  • Irene Audain, Scottish Out of School Care Network
  • Lesley Gibb, ADES Early Years Network
  • Gerald McLaughlin, NHS Health Scotland

SG attendees:

  • Liz Levy
  • Alison Cumming
  • Euan Carmichael
  • Susan Wallace
  • Gemma Boggs
  • Janet Dunsmuir

No reply:

  • Christine Frame, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Items and actions

1. Welcome and minute of last meeting

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

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:

  • 7/01 - COSLA – discussions between SG and COSLA are ongoing. Some expansion plans are published on local authority websites
  • 7/02 – SG officials met with STUC on wider issues and discussion included a number of aspects around quality Both actions closed.

2. Policy and programme update

Members were referred to Paper 8/02. During discussion, key points were:

Revenue allocation has been confirmed in a letter from SG to local authorities on 22 February. SG is making very good progress in discussions with COSLA and local authorities on multi-year funding. The SG is grateful for the efforts in preparing the revised financial templates which provided a robust base for political discussions. Parties are confident that it will be possible to reach agreement by end April.

Service Models – Thanks were expressed to all involved in the recent service models stakeholder events. It was very useful to hear from direct providers and local authority colleagues. Useful discussions took place between providers and local authority representatives. A further programme of events is being planned.

From 1 April the new non domestic rates relief for nurseries will be in force.

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme will be managed by Early Years Scotland.

Children in Scotland have been appointed as fund managers for the inclusion fund and further information will be available in the next couple of months.

There will be a focus on outdoor learning in the expansion programme. A ‘how to’ guide will be developed on outdoor learning provision.

The trials funded by the SG are coming to an end and a report will be available for the ELC National Learning Event which is taking place on 22 May.

Phase 2 of the recruitment marketing campaign will go into production week commencing 2 April and will be aimed at career changers and those returning to the workplace with a launch planned for May/June.

A question was asked on what is being done to support uptake and the meeting was advised that SG officials are engaging with the UK Government on the introduction of regulations which would allow the same access to data that is currently available to the rest of the UK.

MS reported that in some areas local authorities are advising they don’t have sufficient funding to fulfil the current ELC commitment. The SG has fully funded the expansion to 600 hours and has not been made aware of any instances of lack of funding. SG officials will discuss further with MS. AL offered to be included in discussions.

Action 8/01: SG officials to discuss instances of lack of funding with MS and AL.

3. National Standard

The Chair invited EC to provide an update to group members. Key points were:

  • the draft national standard has been developed through open and collaborative working and tested with providers and local authorities.
  • there are six themes in the national standard: quality; accessibility; business sustainability; fair work practices; payment processes; food
  • the focus is on high quality provision and more choice for parents by introducing a national standard with a consistent set of criteria
  • a joint consultation with COSLA and local authorities on the national standard was published on 29 March. This is a full public consultation and includes the parental sector
  • group members were asked to highlight the consultation with parents and to get in touch if they had any events planned which would fit with the consultation as SG officials are keen to meet with groups
  • guidance notes and implementation tools will be developed

4. Out of school care

AS gave an outline of the Scottish Out of School Care Network Out of School Care Workforce Survey 2017. Key points were:

  • from the total responses we found that 90% of the workforce are female and 10% male
  • in terms of the job categories, 28% are lead practitioners, 51% are practitioners and 19% are support workers. 95% are registered with the Scottish Social Services Council, 1% are registered with the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) and 4% was unknown
  • when asked ‘Would you consider/are you considering taking a second job in early learning and childcare (pre-school)? 32% said ‘yes’, 65% said ‘no’ and 3% of responses were unanswered
  • when asked ‘Would you consider/are you considering moving to a full-time post in early learning and childcare (pre-school)? 23% said ‘yes’, 72% said ‘no’ and 5% of responses were unanswered

5. AOB and close

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

The Chair expressed her thanks to everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting.