Funding Follows the Child and the National Standard for Early Learning and Childcare Providers: interim guidance - update

This updated interim guidance sets out the requirements on childcare providers delivering funded early learning and childcare (ELC) and local authorities regarding the delivery of Funding Follows the Child and the National Standard for ELC providers from August 2022.

4. Next steps

46. We recognise that although many of the public health restrictions that applied to the operation of childcare services have now been removed, the impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt on the childcare sector. As a result elements of the flexibility that the interim guidance published in March 2021 afforded will, as we have set out in this document, need to remain in place.

47. This guidance is intended, unless it is advised otherwise, to cover the full 2022-23 academic year (starting from August 2022).

48. The Scottish Government and COSLA will review progress with local authorities and the sector again in late 2022. Following this updated guidance for the full implementation of Funding Follows the Child will be published in Spring 2023 and will confirm requirements from August 2023.

49. There will also be a shared and vital need to ensure that there is clear, concise and timely communications with parents and carers to ensure that they have clarity as to what children will be able to access in the period up to August 2022. The Parent Club Website will provide significant support in this regard. Local authorities and settings will also play a critical role in ensuring that families have access to the appropriate information to support their choices.

50. Local authorities will also continue to have regard to the prevailing public health guidance and any adjustments required of ELC settings, and work with their funded providers to understand the practicalities and challenges of delivering ELC in the period up to and beyond August 2022. In doing so, they will ensure that quality of care and improving outcomes for children remain central to delivery of the funded entitlement, with child development and wellbeing at the heart of the ELC sector's approach.



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