4. Creating a vision
Out Of School Care Reference Group
We established an out of school care reference group in order to support our policy development and ensure we created our framework collaboratively working with the out of school care sector, local authorities, organisations with an interest in children's outcomes and colleagues across the Scottish Government.
The full membership of the Out of School Care reference group is listed at Annex C.
Who Is Out Of School Care For?
The group discussed the wide range of out of school care which exists across Scotland, including the childcare sector, childminders, activity based clubs and programmes, and holiday clubs. They considered what out of school care is and who it's for, agreeing that it should be for all school aged children and that all children and families should be able to access it if they choose. They considered the term out of school care and wondered whether this is the right descriptor, particularly in relation to holiday childcare. The group discussed the fact that this terminology may not be widely understood and reference group members offered a range of terms used around the world including after school childcare and school aged childcare. They noted that many clubs prefer to remove the reference to school and that this is often at the request of the children attending.
Q3: What name should we use for the range of out of school services and activities? Is there a better term than 'Out of School Care'?
Thinking about the range of positive benefits to children and families, the group created a collaborative and bold vision for out of school care in Scotland.
Our vision is "A rights based dynamic offer for all children and young people which supports choice and growth enabling families and communities to reach their full potential".
This vision focuses on positive outcomes for children, recognising a child's right to play, the importance of feeling included and part of a community and how vital it is that there is equality of opportunity for all children in respect of these experiences.
It also clearly links to the importance of families and communities being able to grow and reach their full potential and the support required to be able to achieve this.
The group also considered the ideal out of school care. They were ambitious in their thinking and noted a range of key attributes which are essential for delivering high quality out of school care with the children at the centre. These discussions focussed on what's important about out of school care, the benefits it delivers for children and families and what more could be done to widen access, particularly for those who don't currently use out of school care. They discussed how this might provide support for families and improve outcomes for some children. The group thought about the current situation and the key shifts and changes required to deliver the vision.
Figure 3 "Realising the Vision; mapping out the drivers of change" sets out the relationship between the vision, our primary aims and the requirements for delivering change and achieving the vision. The group agreed that these core aims are essential considerations for a future framework.
Figure 3: Realising the Vision; mapping out the drivers of change
Links to National Performance Framework
We mapped our vision to the National Performance Framework linking our key aims to the national outcomes. To achieve our national outcomes, we aim to get everyone in Scotland to work together. This includes national and local government, businesses, voluntary organisations and people living in Scotland. In order to deliver our vision and our key aims, we will require collaborative working across communities, involving all those with an interest.
Figure 4: Links to the National Performance Framework
With a clear vision and guided by the National Performance Framework, and the strong links to our national outcomes and to wider policies across Scottish Government, our new framework will focus on positive outcomes for those children and families who stand to benefit most from access to out of school care.
It is important to understand how we can use this vision and our key aims to create an out of school care policy which better meets the needs of children and families in Scotland. In order to do that it is important to listen, to recognise the issues and to act upon those to make a difference.
Q4: To enable us to realise our vision, we have identified three key aims that we will need to achieve:
1. High quality services which provide children with life-enhancing experiences
2. Out of school care is accessible and affordable and meets the needs of children and young people, parents and carers and communities.
3. Out of school care services are embedded in communities and enable children and young people to access a range of spaces including the outdoors
Do you agree with our 3 key aims for a future out of school care framework?
Yes/No. Please explain your response.