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.

Glossary of terms for this consultation document

Term / Description

Early learning and childcare (ELC)

All pre-school education and care for children aged 0-5 that is registered with the Care Inspectorate, whether providing funded or unfunded hours, such as nursery provision and childminders.

School age childcare

All childcare provision for children of school age (over 5 years old) that is registered with the Care Inspectorate.

The Care Inspectorate

The independent regulatory body for ELC and school age childcare sectors in Scotland and every provider of ELC and/or school age childcare must register with them. The Care Inspectorate has statutory obligations to carry out inspections of all ELC and school age childcare settings and, where appropriate, provide services with improvement support.

Education Scotland

A Scottish Government Executive Agency charged with supporting quality and improvement in Scottish Education and thereby securing the delivery of better learning experiences and outcomes for Scottish learners of all ages. Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education (HMIE) are located within Education Scotland. HMIE carry out inspection of the quality of education from early learning and childcare to adult learning.

Inspection of ELC and school age childcare

Examination or scrutiny of providers within the ELC and school age childcare sectors to assess the quality of provision against set criteria.

Regulation of ELC and school age childcare

The action or process of regulating or being regulated. Regulation of ELC and school age childcare services is separate to inspection and includes registering settings, investigating complaints and, where appropriate, issuing requirements for change.

Education Reform

Reform of our national education bodies, as announced by the Cabinet Secretary Education and Skills in Parliament on 9 March 2022.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

A forum of countries providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.



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