Implementation and Delivery Plan
The Policy Objective (as set out above) will be implemented as follows -
Once the Regulations come into force on 21 March 2021, local authorities will be delegated those prescribed Ministerial functions, including the ability to register childcare providers for the Scheme.
From 1 August 2021 (the first date, childcare providers can receive an upfront payment from local authorities, if registered under the Scheme) the Scheme will replace the functionality with respect to the provision of milk, of the UK NMS.
This policy aims to ensure eligible children are given the best opportunity in their early years and by providing financial support for all registered day care providers and childminders to provide the milk and healthy snack provision. By providing a universal approach which encompasses both funded and non-funded provision, it is anticipated it will reach the greatest number of pre-school children quickly.
For implementation to fit within existing initiatives, this Scheme aims also to reduce the number of funding streams and align with current practices in Scotland. It is proposed that the initially agreed funding will be ring-fenced for 2 years up to and including 2022-2023 and that thereafter it would be merged as part of the ELC settlement as agreed by COSLA Leaders. There will be an annual review of the costing assumptions including the future population projections to ensure the quantum is adequate and reflects funding required.
The Regulations establishing for this Scheme have been drafted by the Scottish Government's Legal Services in collaboration with policy officials and COSLA with regard to the following legislative powers.
The Regulations will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament as a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) through a negative procedure. This is because these Regulations are not the first set of regulations made under section 13 (1) of the 1988 Act. Section 15A(2)(b) of the 1988 Act, when read with section 118 of the Scotland 1998, section 36 and paragraph 2 of schedule 4 of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, provides this subordinate legislation is subject to the negative procedure in the Scottish Parliament.
The Regulations are to be made on 17 February 2021 and laid before Parliament on 19 February 2021 and are to come into force on 21 March 2021.
Competence/Enabling Powers (devolved powers)
The Scottish Parliament has competence to make these Regulations which are on the subject-matter of section 13 of the Social Security Act 1988 (benefits under schemes for improving nutrition: pregnant women, mothers and children).
The Regulations which established the Scheme were made under section 13 (1) of the 1988 Act and 175 (4) and (5) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (which includes powers to enable incidental, supplementary and discretionary provisions), necessary to perform various functions under the Regulations.
Local authorities will be delegated specified functions, prescribed in the Regulations as Scottish Ministerial functions. They will have responsibility for implementation and decide on appropriate payment periods and effective monitoring procedures which will be reported back to Scottish Government. The Scottish Government will be responsible for funding the Scheme and ensuring that information provided by the local authorities is used to review costing assumptions on a regular basis to ensure funding levels are representative and adequate.
Scottish Government will work in partnership with the UK DHSC, COSLA, local authorities, and sector representatives to ensure comprehensive and co-ordinated communications about the changes, and to allow for an effective transition from the UK scheme. This will include letters from UK DHSC and from local authorities to settings, use of existing communications platforms like stakeholder newsletters and websites, contact information for queries and information shared on the Scottish Government website.
Stakeholder Platforms – all members
To make sure we communicate as widely as possible, Scottish Government will utilise available communication platforms offered from the stakeholders listed previously. Scottish Governments intentions will be for the letter, as drafted above, for local authorities to be issued using the communication platforms available to each representative group. Due to the variety of communication platforms Scottish Government will work closely with COSLA and relevant groups making sure that all communication is tailored to all types of communication platforms.