School age childcare: national children's charter

In 2022 and 2023 A Place in Childhood and Scottish Government worked with children in schools across Scotland to design a Charter for school age childcare in Scotland.

The National Children's Charter for School Age Childcare

In November and December 2022, A Place in Childhood (APiC) and Scottish Government visited five schools and one young carers group in Dingwall, Conon Bridge, Dundee, Alloa, Mid Yell, and Aberdeen. The goal was to co-create local children's charters for school age childcare in each area. We picked these places to represent the different types of areas and experiences across Scotland – from big cities to remote rural communities. In total, 125 children between the ages of 4 and 12 took part, from a range of family backgrounds.

To create local charters, each group talked about how to create the best Out of School Club possible for their area. This frame gave us all a sense of what school age childcare needs to look like in each community, with children taking part in a range of activities to look at the 'Where', 'Who', 'How', 'Why' and 'What' of the club. APiC then used everything the children had said to draw up a draft charter for each place, and sent these as posters back to the groups so the children taking part could check them over and make sure nothing was missed or misunderstood. Some groups also shared their charters with other classes in their schools to make them even better!

The next step was to go from a local charter for each place, to a National Charter to guide school age childcare across all of Scotland. To do this, APiC invited a team of four or five representatives from each of the six groups to a National Children's Charter Workshop in January 2023. Children from Alloa, Dundee and Aberdeen met together at the Dundee Science Centre, while Ben Wyvis school and the young carers team in Dingwall took part remotely. In the workshop everyone discussed and improved a draft National Charter that drew together everything that was the same in their local charters. They added more thoughts and ideas, to make it even better and able to meet the needs of all children across the country. They also thought about guiding principles for childcare. Unfortunately, bad weather meant that the school in Mid Yell was closed, and so APiC organised another workshop for Team Yell to check over everyone's work and add the finishing touches.

This is the final version of our National Charter, which also includes lots of pictures of the work we made along the way.



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