This is a summary of the full Equalities Impact Assessment conducted in relation to the the Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2021. The Scottish Government is committed to replacing the current UK Nursery Milk Scheme with the Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme for the purposes of childcare providers in Scotland only.
The public sector equality duty requires the Scottish Government to pay "due regard" to the need to meet its obligations under the Equality Act 2010. The Scottish Government, therefore, undertook an EQIA as part of developing the policy for the Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme following the devolution of Welfare Foods powers under the Scotland Act 2016.
This policy will impact all pre-school children who are cared for by a registered day care provider or childminder in Scotland for two or more hours a day.
The Scottish Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme (the Scheme) delivered by local authorities to all pre-school children who are enrolled for 2 hours or more per day in a registered pre-school setting, defined as a day care provider or childminder, and where that setting is taking part in the Scheme. Settings must be registered and regulated by the Care Inspectorate in order to be eligible for the Scheme. Funding will only be provided to settings who register for the Scheme. Under the new Scheme, funding will be available for day care providers and childminders to provide:
- 189mls (1/3 pint) of plain fresh cow's milk (whole milk for children over 1 year or to include semi-skimmed milk for children over 2 years), first infant formula (for children under 12 months), or 189mls (1/3 pint) of plain fresh goat or sheep milk (whole milk for children over 1 year or to include semi-skimmed milk for children over 2 years), or unsweetened calcium enriched non-dairy alternatives for those children who cannot consume cow's milk because of medical, ethical or religious reasons.
- A healthy snack item (a portion of fresh fruit or vegetables) for children over six months.
- Non-dairy alternative drinks eligible for the Scheme are unsweetened calcium enriched soya drinks for children over 12 months with other unsweetened calcium enriched non-dairy alternative drinks being offered only where necessary.
Funding will be delivered upfront to eligible pre-school settings via Local Authorities in line with each authorities process and systems from 1 August 2021. The current mechanism of a claims and reimbursement model as delivered by the UK Nursery Milk Scheme will cease in Scotland as of the 31 July 2021.
Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) funded provision is available to all 3 and 4 year olds, and eligible 2 year olds. However, the Scheme has a broader scope than this offer. It will benefit all children in regulated childcare, regardless of whether it is ELC funded provision.