Funding follows the child and the national standard for early learning and childcare providers: transition options guidance on contracting

This document outlines options for local authorities to consider when developing their processes to contract with private and third sector providers.

Annex B: Glossary



Common Procurement Vocabulary (CPV) Code

CPV codes are a system used (across the European Union) for classifying public procurement which uses standardised vocabulary to help classify Contract Notices consistently and to make it easier for stakeholders to find notices

Contract Award Notice

The Contract Award Notice is a public announcement of the outcome of a public procurement exercise. In Scotland, these are advertised on PCS (Public Contracts Scotland).

Contract Notice

The Contract Notice is used to advertise a contract opportunity. In Scotland, these are advertised on PCS (Public Contracts Scotland).

Contract Standing Orders

Contract Standing Orders are specific to each local authority and ensure that uniform contracting procedures are used. They promote consistency, transparency, fair opportunity and equality of treatment.


COSLA, the Confederation Of Scottish Local Authorities, is the voice of Local Government in Scotland. They provide political leadership on national issues, and work with local authorities to improve local services and strengthen local democracy.

Early learning and childcare / ELC

The relevant legislation defines early learning and childcare as: “a service consisting of education and care, of a kind which is suitable in the ordinary case for children who are under school age, regard being had to the importance of interactions and other experiences which support learning and development in a caring and nurturing setting.

European Single Procurement Document (ESPD)

The European Single Procurement Document replaces the Standard Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (sPQQ) and it is mandatory to use the ESPD (Scotland) for all Route 3 procurements which begin on or after 18 April 2016.

In the case of Care and Support Services, the mandatory exclusion grounds (regulations 58(1) to (3) of Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015) must be applied to all procurements, and an organisation can choose to apply the discretionary exclusion grounds and selection criteria and can choose to use the ESPD (Scotland) for this purpose without amending the questions, and it is a matter of best practice to do so.

Funded hours

The hours of funded ELC provision for children which are funded through the local authority up to the statutory entitlement of 600 hours per year or (from August 2020) 1140 hours of funded ELC per year for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds.

Funded Provider

An ELC setting who meets the National Standard and offers the ELC funded entitlement to children.

Financial Regulations

The financial regulations and associated procedures provide the financial governance and accountabilities for a local authority in relation to the overall financial management of the local authority.

National Standard

The Standard that all funded providers in Scotland will need to meet to offer the funded entitlement to children from August 2020. This is regardless of whether the funded hours are provided by a setting in the public, private or third sectors, including provision offered by childminders. It is aligned to the guiding principles for the expansion to 1140 hours: quality; flexibility; accessibility, and affordability. It is also underpinned by the regulations in the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 which applies to all care services across Scotland, including daycare of children and childminding settings.


Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) is the national advertising portal for the Scottish public sector and their prime contractors to advertise their contract and sub-contract opportunities, and publish contract awards.


PCS-Tender is the national eSourcing system provided free of charge by the Scottish Government. It is currently used by over 60 public sector organisations in Scotland including Local Authorities, NHS, HE/FE and Scottish Government sector for their route 2 and 3 procurement exercises.


Any organisation offering ELC provision registered with the Care Inspectorate under daycare of children or childminding registrations.

Public Contract

Subject to regulation 98(6) of the The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, means a contract for pecuniary interest concluded in writing between one or more economic operators and one or more contracting authorities and having as its object the execution of works, the supply of products or the provision of services.

Scotland Excel

The Centre of Procurement Expertise for the local government sector. Their services are designed to help local authorities meet the twin challenges of reducing budgets at a time of growing demand. Collaborative procurement increases efficiency and ensures money is saved to protect front line services. By working together through Scotland Excel, local authorities work to realise a host of social, economic and environmental benefits from their spend. 

Service Model Working Group

A group established in 2017 to bring together Scottish Government, COSLA and local authorities to work in partnership to develop Funding Follows the Child and the underpinning National Standard for ELC providers.


Any service offering ELC provision registered with the Care Inspectorate under daycare of children or childminding registrations.


The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract. The purpose of the standstill period is to enable unsuccessful providers to consider the feedback on their submissions and to allow them an opportunity to seek further information or call for a review of the decision.

Standstill Letter

The letter sent to a provider to commence the standstill period.

Sustainable rate

The hourly rate that is paid to funded providers in the private and third sectors, and childminders, to deliver the funded entitlement.

The rate will support delivery of a high quality ELC experience for all children; reflect the cost of delivery, including the delivery of national policy objectives; allow for investment in the setting – staff, resources and physical environment; and enable payment of the real Living Wage for those childcare workers delivering the funded entitlement.



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