Inspection of early learning and childcare and school age childcare services: consultation

This consultation is seeking views on a vision for how inspection of registered childcare services will contribute to improving outcomes for children and families, the current approach to inspection and a proposal for a shared quality framework.


This consultation aims to gather views on a vision for the future of inspection and what this will deliver for children, families and practitioners, teachers and staff working in the sector from the full range of ELC and school age childcare services, whether or not they currently provide funded ELC. It is seeking views on the strengths of existing inspection arrangements, where improvements can be made and the proposal to bring forward a shared quality framework to be used in inspection of these services, developed collaboratively by the Care Inspectorate, HMIE, sector representatives, practitioners, teachers, staff and children.

Why your views matter

The Scottish Government recognises the enormous value that comes from the diverse sector that includes local authority, private, childminding, voluntary and school age childcare providers.

We would like to gather views from everyone impacted by the current inspection approach, including inspection and improvement organisations, local authorities, representative bodies, providers, managers, staff and teachers working in every type of provider and parents and carers. The responses to this consultation will be used to inform next steps on the improvement and streamlining of inspection of ELC and school age childcare services in Scotland.

Impact Assessments

Separate impact assessments will be carried out as appropriate and published on the Scottish Government website in due course.

Respond to this Consultation

We are inviting responses to this consultation by midnight on 28 October 2022.

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space. Access and respond to this consultation online . You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 28 October 2022.

If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please complete the 'About You' form and send it to:

Early Learning and Childcare, Inspection and Scrutiny Team
Scottish Government
Area 2D South
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Or by email to:

Handling your response

If you respond using the consultation hub, you will be directed to the 'About You' page before submitting your response. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are content for your response to published. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the 'About You' form included in this document.

To find out how we handle your personal data, please see our privacy policy.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public on the Scottish Government's consultation hub. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

As part of the consultation process, we will be meeting with representatives from a range of stakeholders, including the inspectorate bodies, representative bodies from the sector and trade unions over the summer and autumn period.

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available. We will then set out intended next steps, including a proposed timeframe to implement the recommended improvements.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to the contact address above or at

Scottish Government consultation process

Consultation is an essential part of the policymaking process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.

You can find all our consultations online. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.

Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:

  • Indicate the need for policy development or review
  • Inform the development of a particular policy
  • Help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
  • Be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.



Back to top