Early learning and childcare providers - local authority funding and support: overview 2022 to 2023

Sets out information provided by local authorities on the sustainable rates they have set for providers in the private, third and childminding sectors to deliver funded ELC; and their approach, in line with guidance published for setting these sustainable rates.

Annex D

Summary of Additional Support for Funded Providers

  • The Guidance For Setting Sustainable Rates, originally published in April 2019, highlights that along with the sustainable rate, local authorities provide a range of benefits to funded providers and that it is for local authorities to decide the best package to ensure high quality ELC provision is offered to children and families, based on their own local circumstances. Further information is provided in Section 6 of the April 2019 Sustainable Rates Guidance.
  • It also notes a local authority should outline the support package available, and its monetary value (where available), to funded providers at the time of application.
  • Local authorities were asked to detail their additional support package, and advised they could include financial and non-financial measures.
  • Table D1 sets out the information provided by local authorities in response to this survey question.

Table D1: Summary of Additional Support Package provided by Local Authorities to support Funded Providers

Council / Summary of Additional Support Package for Funded Providers

Aberdeen City

  • A team of Early Learning and Childcare Locality Lead Officers providing regular Quality Improvement support and training to Funded Providers. This includes termly Quality Improvement visits, local network events and access to training and equates to: £183,000 per annum.
  • An Additional Support Needs Advisory Project (ASNAP) is commissioned from a Third Sector organisation to support children with additional support needs to uptake their statutory ELC entitlement in a Funded Provider setting. The cost of this service is £65,000 per annum.
  • Funding for accredited qualifications is also awarded to staff working in Funded Provider ELC settings as part of a commitment to workforce expansion and development.
  • Aberdeen City Council also pays for First Aid training for all Funded Provider ELC staff.


  • Aberdeenshire Council views all funded providers as equal and funds the delivery of ELC the same in a childminder as in a playgroup and a day care setting. All settings have access to the same support.
  • Aberdeenshire Council provides funding for all training for funded providers. This includes core courses such as first aid, ones which improve quality and a range of qualifications at levels up to BA.
  • The Quality Improvement Team also develop and deliver bespoke training, which all providers can access or which is specifically targeted to meet need or on request.
  • All settings have access to a teacher and additional members of the EY team such as Development Workers who support with admissions and deliver packages such as Nurture, Bookbug Baby Massage and Parenting programmes. Support to place and ensure sufficiency for 2 year olds is also delivered by the Development Workers.
  • Support for all settings is provided by the EY team proportionate to need on a Universal, targeted, and Intensive level. There is a National Standards Improvement Programme which focuses on settings at risk of failing to meet National Standards or who have recently failed to meet National Standards. Newly implemented EY Service Officer has been created to focus on practical support and delivery of the improvement plan. Data is showing this has had a positive impact and will be expanded.
  • Aberdeenshire Council also has an hourly rate, to support funded providers to meet the needs of children with Additional Support Needs. There are two rates, which are £9.30 and £10.30, depending on the level of need. If a funded provider is supporting a child or children who meet the criteria, then they can also apply for a grant for resources. The EY team support the setting to make a plan for what is required, additional staffing, resources and training.
  • Aberdeenshire Council offers a sustainability grant, which allows for a funded provider who is struggling financially to apply for up to £10,000. This can cover overheads (not salaries) and can also cover improvements to the environment, as identified by either the Care Inspectorate or the Quality Improvement team.
  • Aberdeenshire Council has regular meetings with the funded providers to hear their issues and concerns and to provide updates and information on training/recent inspections and availability of resources and EY Team input. These are at least once a term and mainly happen during the day time.
  • Meetings are also organised in the evening so that childminders can attend without children.


  • All contracted providers have access to an extensive annual ELC training programme which offers a wide range of training and support for new and experienced staff at all stages in their career to engage with current theory and practice to provide high quality ELC.
  • Each contracted provider also receives bespoke support from an ELC central team member which includes termly visits and an annual quality assurance visit and report from an Early Years manager to support improvement planning. Additional targeted support for settings at risk of falling below Care Inspectorate grades 4, involves additional bespoke training, support work and visits from the EY locality team member to facilitate improvements towards identified needs following action plans.
  • Additional support from Angus Additional Support team and Educational Psychology team is available as required to meet the needs of all children.
  • Funding assistance for relevant national qualifications is offered to staff from contracted providers, including childminders.
  • Subsidised First Aid training is offered to contracted providers' ELC staff, including childminders.
  • Funding of 'Protecting Vulnerable Groups' checks is also offered to contracted providers' staff.
  • Business support team offers support, guidance and training with NAMS and admissions process
  • ELC central team supports the application process to become a funded provider and provides on-going contract support.
  • All contracted providers can request access to GLOW.

Argyll and Bute

  • CLPL annual programme
  • Pre, during and post inspection support
  • Workforce development
  • Qualification funding
  • Grant distribution
  • Resource allocation
  • Network support
  • Additional Support Needs (ASN) funding – Argyll & Bute pay an enhanced rate of £14.24 - £14.48 per hour for children with additional support needs.
  • SMHSS distribution
  • Free school meal provision
  • Learning and teaching support
  • Teacher allocation
  • Care Inspectorate (CI) support
  • Sharing practice fund


  • Access free of charge to training courses
  • Workforce development for required management qualifications
  • Access to ELC learning hub
  • Dedicated officer support
  • Quality Assurance
  • Inspection support
  • Access to physiological services

Dumfries and Galloway

  • All providers have a link officer in the central Early Years Team to offer bespoke advice and support in a needs-based approach. Minimum of termly visits offered with intensive support in place as required.
  • Weekly bulletins have been introduced to ensure providers are kept abreast of all information, grants available, training opportunities etc.
  • Termly meetings are in place for providers to support quality of provision and share practice.
  • Regular evening meetings are in place for childminders to offer sector specific support.
  • A range of professional training opportunities continues to be offered including fully funding courses provided by external training providers.
  • All providers have been provided with a laptop to support use of NAMS and delivery of ELC.
  • Payments are made in advance and within 30 days of the start of term.
  • Additional payments are made in respect of children requiring support. Providers also have access to the Educational Visitor Service.
  • Support team provides support with NAMS including training as required, admissions, funded hours and meal and SMHSS payment processes.
  • Collaborative Forum has been established and biannual business meetings planned.
  • Dumfries and Galloway pay an additional rate of £10.07 per hour for children with additional support needs.

Dundee City

Financial support

  • Continued to fully fund all eligible children during unscheduled Jubilee holiday and Queens State Funeral.
  • Financial support for staff to undertake relevant qualifications (subject to available funding).

Additional support measures

  • Access to a fully funded comprehensive Dundee City Council (DCC) Early Years CLPL programme -flexible delivery models available
  • Access to DCC e-learning modules
  • Regular information shared regarding a range of training that can be accessed from a range of sources (Ed Scot, CI).
  • Bespoke training for childminders and individual support from LA officer.
  • Participation in working groups.

Quality Improvement

  • Early Years Team provide on-going, responsive and proportionate support and challenge including support for improvement planning and self-evaluation.
  • Minimum of 2 Quality Improvement visits with Early Years Officers.
  • Pre and post Care Inspectorate inspection guidance and support from Education Officers including attendance at CI inspection feedback.
  • Support for HMIe inspections including pre- inspection guidance and participation in the inspection process.
  • Proportionate support for providers to meet the National Standard including intensive support and additional visits for providers on Service Improvement Periods.
  • Regular liaison with Early Years Officers including a funded providers forum.

General support and guidance

  • School Support team provide support with NAMS, applications and funding.
  • Training on NAMS as and when required.
  • Support and guidance from the Early Years team on admissions, funded hours, meal payment process and healthy milk and snack registration and payment.
  • Early Years Officers support application and assessment process to become a funded provider and provide on-going contract support.
  • School Support team/Early Years team support for applications for Deferred Entry to Primary and Early Years Panel.
  • Educational Psychology, Bilingual Service, SLT and Accessibility and Inclusion Service support.
  • Finance team support including support for the Sustainable Rate review and application and payment process for the Healthy Milk and Snack scheme.
  • Contracts team and legal team support including application and assessment process to become a funded provider and provide on- going contract support.

East Ayrshire

  • Access to a teacher from the peripatetic early years teacher team for a block of time in each setting. The block of time allocated to each setting is assessed on the provider's need for support.
  • Access to support and challenge from an ELC Improvement Officer re ELC National Standards and following inspection, if required.
  • Access to training and continuous professional development at no cost to the provider.
  • Licence for Learning Journal at no cost to the provider
  • Access to GLOW at no cost to the provider
  • Access to professional networks e.g. Early Years Outdoor Learning Network and funded provider meetings
  • Access to Early Years Development Officer ( Workforce Planning and Training Officer) re training needs analysis for each funded provider
  • Access to an Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapy Service re support, assessment and professional advice for children with additional support needs.
  • Funded Provider meeting held once per term chaired by Early Years Service Manager
  • Support for childminders via offices in East Ayrshire's Community Childcare Service
  • Support and guidance from the Early Years team on admissions, funded hours, meal payment process and healthy milk and snack registration and payment
  • Contracts/legal team support including application and assessment process to become a funded provider, including childminders and provide on-going contract support.

East Dunbartonshire

  • All centres receive a minimum of 3 annual visits from their link Quality Improvement Officer. The focus of these visits is to provide support for self-evaluation, using the quality indicators from How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare. Additional visits are planned at the request from a centre, as a follow up from a focus visit or following inspection.
  • Quality Improvement Officers support centres before, during and following inspections by the Care Inspectorate or Education Scotland and if required work with the centre to create an Action Plan to continuously improve so that the establishment meets the National Standard.
  • All centres are supported by Early Level Support Teachers who support in a range of ways including modelling practice, providing bespoke professional learning, assisting with identifying improvements, advice / support with Support for All meetings and assisting in the creation of stimulating learning environments.
  • All centres have access to Psychological Services for their children as appropriate to provide support for children, their families and the centre.

Professional Learning

  • A comprehensive professional learning programme is provided for all early years' staff. Last session this included training on:- curriculum, self-evaluation, literacy, numeracy, play pedagogy, nurture, supporting practitioner enquiry and tests of change, planning for children's learning through environments, high quality experiences and sensitive interactions – indoors and outdoors.
  • Regular Funded Provider Strategic Group Meetings take place on a regular basis throughout the year along with wider Funded Provider Business Meetings to provide ongoing support and advice.
  • Self-evaluation training was offered to all management teams - this training was highly evaluated.
  • Learning Partnership Groupings have been established in session 2021-22 with all funded provider groups invited to attend. This provides a valuable forum for sharing practice, ideas and for working on aspects such as self-evaluation, standards and quality reporting and centre improvement planning.

East Lothian

  • Access and support from:
    • Early Years Service Manager
    • Education Support Officers
    • Early Years Support Teachers
    • Lead Officer – 1140hrs
    • Equity and Excellence Officers
    • Educational Psychologist
    • Early Years Outreach Officer
  • Access to training provided by East Lothian Council at no charge to providers

East Renfrewshire

  • Free access to East Renfrewshire Career Long Professional Learning (CLPL) Programme Subsidised external training – including BA, Froebel.
  • Commitment from an ELC Development Officer and Quality Improvement Officer.
  • Participation in a collaborative model of self-evaluation for self-improvement.
  • Dedicated ELC teacher, with a specific remit of supporting the children of ERC that attend funded providers and assisting staff by modelling, taking part in professional dialogue, and any other request within their remit.
  • Access to the Educational Psychology Team supporting you to support children in your care, by providing strategies, interventions that can enable inclusion and a strong sense of wellbeing as well as providing high quality CLPL to staff.
  • Regular Early Learning and Childcare Forums to share national and local information and provide a platform for sharing good practice.


  • An allocated Quality Improvement Education Officer (QIEO). The QIEO provides Support and Challenge, this is delivered through a proportionate model focusing on settings who have experienced a high level of change or are not meeting the National Standard.
  • The QIEO team led by the Quality Improvement Manager (QIM) provide both universal and targeted support to support the model of continuous improvement.

Universal support includes:

  • Three conference events per year- Leading the Strategy. These provide the opportunity for the central Early Years Team to share key messages and provide strategic direction for Senior Leaders. They also support collaboration, opportunities to share and moderate practice across the sector and within localities.
  • Support for Self-Evaluation: QIEOs will review the settings Standards & Quality report and ensure an annual visit to discuss the Improvement Plan. QIEOs are available to settings throughout the year to support the annual Self-Evaluation cycle.
  • Support and Challenge visits linked to core Quality Indicators from national documentation: HGIOELC and The Quality framework from the Care Inspectorate. These will be proportionate and focused visits.
  • Access to Core local guidance linked to key areas to support high quality practice e.g. Planning with Children, Communication & Literacy, Numeracy and Maths etc.
  • A range of CLPL/training opportunities linked to practice.
  • ASL support for practitioners and individual support for children from the central ASL team.
  • Pre and Post inspection support for HMIE and the Care Inspectorate Inspections. This includes attending scoping and feedback meetings and any further training/CLPL support identified
  • Targeted support, for settings who are not meeting the National Standard includes:
    • Individual support developed around the action plan for the Service Improvement Period, which could include bespoke training/CLPL specific to the focused areas.
    • Regular support visits from the QIEO.
    • Unannounced visits to monitor progress from QIEO and another EY officer.
  • Systems and operational support
    • IT issues with NAMS
    • entering children onto NAMS
    • marking leavers
    • finding children and moving from other authorities
  • Support in the calculation of funded entitlement for children aged 3-5 years and T2s. This is done through email, webpage updates, circulation of EY newsletter .
  • Support in meeting Criteria 9 of the National Standard through provision of advice and processes along with monitoring.
  • Intermediary between parents and nurseries when issues arise.

Monetary value of this support

  • CEC officers working with both local authority and partner providers support 113 LA Settings and 153 Partners.
  • Partners provide just under 4 million hours of funded ELC per annum.
  • The indicative average cost attributable to supporting each hour in a Partner Provider is 14p.


  • Free access to training courses
  • Free support from small team of peripatetic early years teachers
  • Free professional advice and support from Children's Services officers
  • Free support, supply and distribution of Co2 monitors.
  • Regular meetings with Senior Children's Services Staff (Private Nursery Providers)
  • Support from SCMA (Childminders)


  • Access to courses and training opportunities
  • Access to a development officer to support with continuous improvement
  • Delivery of quality Improvement Sessions - 4 times per year
  • Attendance at Operational Forum Sessions – 4 times per year
  • Partner provider information published on Council website
  • Access to area ELC Principal teacher and Peripatetic Nursery Teacher
  • Support from Quality Improvement Officer (ELC)
  • All partner providers triaged for support with partners clearly informed about what different levels of support can be

Glasgow City

Financial Sustainability Framework (c. £75,000 to date)

  • No funded provider services in Glasgow have closed to date due to lack of financial sustainability. During Covid, the Council put in place a financial sustainability framework intended to support any coming forward who felt this may be a concern. Over the 2 years, 2020 and 2021, only 2 providers (both third sector) came forward. Both were funded and continue to thrive today.
  • Despite the fact that Covid restrictions have been removed, the financial sustainability framework remains in place and support has recently been offered to a provider who, through no fault of their own, found themselves in difficulties which might threaten their business. A short term solution was agreed – effectively payment in advance to be recouped over an extended time by adjustments to payments as the business stabilises once more - which enables them to continue to operate until such time as the crisis is past.

Workforce Support, Development & CLPL (estimated total costs c.£400,000)

  • Glasgow part funds staff from funded provider settings who are undertaking certificated qualifications required by SSSC. GCC currently meet up to 70% of the cost of basic Support Practitioner and Practitioner level qualifications and 60% of higher, degree level GCC also part fund Masters level qualifications which go beyond SSSC requirements.
  • Glasgow provides a fully funded comprehensive training programme on a broad range of practice areas to support quality improvement in funded provider settings. Here is a link to the Early Years website which includes further information on the broad range of training available to staff within both funded provider and GCC settings.
  • Training is offered within a progressive framework which includes programmes at varying levels.
  • Funded providers also receive support in the form of compliance and business support from the Monitoring & Liaison Team, inspection support, training and support & challenge visits from peripatetic Leaders of Early Learning teacher team and senior Area ELC Managers.

Additional Support for Learning (c. £15,000)

  • In early 2022, within the central ELC team, GCC appointed a part-time Senior Educational Psychologist for early years, who developed the new Early Years website for staff which in addition to general information on all training, provides comprehensive ASL information around approaches, Glasgow specific processes and links to wider training with detail of how to access it. A suite of core online training modules has been created by Glasgow Psychological Services and made available to funded providers as well as Council staff, with plans to create even more modules looking at Children's Mental Health & Wellbeing in development.
  • In common with Council nurseries, funded providers can access an Educational Psychology service for advice and support around the needs of specific children. GCC also shared with providers at the August 2022 meetings, plans to pilot a Staged Intervention & Inclusion Meeting (SIIM) structure specifically for funded providers. This mirrors the approach used to support Council nurseries when considering children with additional needs and information will be rolled out shortly.

Funding for 3 Year Olds (c. £102,000)

  • Funded providers currently receive funding for 3 year olds up to a week earlier than Council nurseries do, meaning that places are funded between 1 and 5 days earlier than they would be in a Council setting.

Flexible Rental

  • The Council currently has 7 buildings, including 2 multi-million pound new builds and 4 major refurbishments, which have been made available to funded providers via a bidding process to establish new, expanded nursery services at no capital cost to them. Other buildings are now being made available with no capital refurbishment but permission is in place for the nursery provider to carry out their own building works if they so wish. Social economy or 3rd sector providers currently pay rent of £11,000 per year whilst private sector providers pay £22,000 per year on 10 year leases, with review built in at mid-point. Given that some of these buildings have been registered to provide for more than 130 children at any one time, this provides an extremely good potential financial return for the successful bidders.


The Local Authority provides:-

  • CPL opportunities at no cost to partners, such as first aid, food hygiene, others delivered via providers outwith HC, and funded by HC.
  • Access to a 'teacher' by way of Early Years Education Support Officer support advice and guidance.
  • Access to the central ELC team for support and guidance.
  • Access via application to additional funding to support children with Additional Support for Learning.
  • Top up funding to support access to required qualifications.


  • In addition to the sustainable rate funded providers also have access to a range of support from the Local authority.
  • Termly visits to support planning for improvement.
  • Targeted support requests
  • Teacher access support
  • Access to LA internal and external training providers
  • Support from Central Quality improvement team
  • Support from Educational Psychology service and ASN Forum


The support delivered by the council in support of funded providers includes the following:

  • Qualification training
  • Mandatory training
  • CPD training
  • Quality Assurance improvement planning and process support from Principal Teachers and other officers
  • Quality Improvement visits
  • Intensive support during service improvement periods for those settings not meeting the National Standard.


  • As part of the preparation for the expansion of funded hours from 600 to 1140 hours, Moray offered partner providers the opportunity to apply for infrastructure/resource and training grants. Additionally, outdoor materials grants were offered to partner providers at the start of the pandemic along with financial support related to COVID costs throughout the lockdown period.
  • Moray also offer standard in person training courses i.e. first aid as well as virtual training opportunities i.e. child protection.
  • Moray have a team of central ELC staff that support the nursery and childminder providers including Continuous Improvement Officers, Childminding Development Officer and Early Years Teachers.

North Ayrshire

  • Funded provider staff are included in all professional learning that is delivered by North Ayrshire Council (NAC) staff to early years practitioners.
  • Funded provider (FP) managers and business owners are included in all ELC Head Teacher meetings and in all relevant professional learning opportunities.
  • Teacher access is provided by NAC and each FP establishment has an allocated teacher who provides learning and development and QI support for staff and managers.

North Lanarkshire

  • Support from link Quality Officers in regard to;
  • The Quality Agenda – Meeting the National Standards (self-evaluation and quality assurance)
  • Quality Improvement Visits (inhouse support and challenge)
  • Pedagogical Leadership (including access to an accredited leadership programme).
  • Curriculum design and implementation
  • Child Development
  • Play-Based Learning
  • High Quality Physical Environments
  • Outdoor Learning (access to bespoke training).
  • Family Engagement
  • Professional Collaboration and Development (access to cluster networks and a training calendar of ELC development opportunities).
  • Quality Transitions
  • Inclusion – GIRFEC / Child Protection / Safeguarding
  • Loving Lunches / Healthy Snacks
  • 3 Equity and Excellence leads in partner nurseries
  • Access to a training calendar of ELC development opportunities
  • Membership for Early Years Scotland for all
  • SCMA membership for Childminders only
  • Support from the central team around admissions and payments
  • Participation in work groups to support improvement across the ELC service
  • Support from Psychological Services

Orkney Islands

  • Orkney provide free training and development sessions at a time when childminders can attend, currently fortnightly on a Monday evening. This is open to partnership and non-partnership childminders.
  • Orkney also provide weekend sessions at times through the year, e.g. Forest School sessions with a visiting trainer.
  • Orkney have a loan library of books childminders and other early years professionals can borrow plus outdoor resources they can also borrow.

Perth and Kinross

  • A wealth of CPD opportunities delivered both face to face and online.
  • A wealth of resources available on GLOW and continuously added to and updated to support high-quality practice, provision, and improvement.
  • Regular support from an Early Years Support Teacher.
  • Tailored support from members of the central team, including colleagues in Inclusion as appropriate to ensure continual improvement.
  • Termly development sessions and inset support provided to funded provider ELC leads in line with the offer to local authority ELC leads.


  • Each provider and childminder is allocated a designated link Partnership Support Officer providing a minimum of a termly visit;
  • Professional advice and support on quality improvement;
  • Access to regular forums and manager sessions to advise and discuss national and local expectations and sharing of practice.
  • Access to an Early Years Graduate (in line with SIMD status) and to an Early Years Teacher;
  • Free access to high quality continued professional learning;
  • Financial support towards external workforce training costs to assist in the compliance with SSSC requirements, including the BA degree qualification, Froebel and initial qualifications for trainee staff;
  • Termly funded provider meetings with a focus on business and development matters.
  • Other support services such as Educational Psychology to support with children with additional support needs.

Scottish Borders

  • Approx. 9,700 hours and an estimated cost of £316.5k of Early Years team time is dedicated to funded providers.
  • This includes access to 130 hours teacher support each week for support/portal/Inspire/MA's training.
  • Quarterly leadership meetings, network meetings.
  • Direct access to central support team for NAMs, payments, queries etc. Link Officer Support, Review days and Contract meetings. (This does not include any other services time i.e. Finance for sustainable rate or ad hoc work, associated with private providers).
  • In addition to this, funded providers received funding in 2021-22 for:-
    • £194k – ASN Grants
    • £5k – Additional 10p Healthy Snack (Funded by SBC)
    • £46k - SMHSS - Government Funded
    • £9.5k – Service Management Fee - £450 per setting
    • £14k – Catering provided by SBC (for lunch - settings that are unable to provide)

Shetland Islands

  • Access to LA training and development
  • Funding for qualifications to ensure they meet registration requirements
  • Access to dedicated education support officers
  • Providers who occupy an SIC premises can access a buildings support package
  • Access to ELC grant funding

South Ayrshire

  • There are a range of supports currently provided for funded providers. These include:
  • Access to shared CLPL Programme
  • Access to a teacher to work with children
  • Additional ASN support (payment for staff) as agreed
  • Support visits from the central team
  • Access to advice and guidance from Psychological services
  • Management support meetings and network meetings
  • Curriculum and management guidance and support materials
  • Admin support from central admin e.g. NAMS

South Lanarkshire

  • In August 2019, South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) introduced Early Access for 3 year olds where children receive funded provision from the week following their third birthday. This policy is funding by SLC beyond statutory provision at standard hourly rates at a cost of £0.855m per annum equivalent to approximately £1.90 per hour per 3 year old for an average of three months in funded providers.
  • South Lanarkshire Council provides a range of support, guidance, personal and professional qualifications and training opportunities to all funded providers free of charge. Some examples of such opportunities are fully funded BA Childhood Practice and the Froebel certificate. SLC also invest in producing supporting curricular guidance, quality improvement and self-evaluation materials.
  • Funded providers can also access and benefit from on-call support from the central early years team, admissions support for processing applications, regular virtual meetings for sharing practice and providing support and guidance. Support is in place for pre and post inspections or areas identified for development. Since the introduction of the National Standard which set standards for ELC providers, SLC have also established processes to support those establishments whose outcomes do not meet the requirements. SLC jointly work with and support funded providers in conjunction with the Improvement Unit to engage in and support their improvement action plan. SLC also invest in a range of opportunities for individual providers and provide a link to an area Lead Locality Officer and an ELC Quality Officer. In addition, a range of central support is available at all times for funded providers.
  • The Council has also supported funded providers through a personnel team to provide advice, guidance and support for recruitment processes where needed.
  • The total annual cost is approximately £1m. This would equate to approximately £0.40p per hour per child. All of the above is provided at a zero rate to funded providers.
  • Funding as part of the Milk and Healthy Snack Scheme Scotland Regulations 2021 for pre-school children spending 2 hours or more in the care of a regulated day care provider and/or childminder that has registered for the scheme is also provided. From 1 April 2022, a national interim combined rate of 58.2p is paid per eligible child per day.


  • Stirling Council offer quality assurance support to all funder providers through the allocation of a Link Officer from the Early Years Central team to each setting, this includes both nursery and childminder settings. Funded Providers also attend termly early years business meetings and safeguarding networks where relevant updates and practice is shared. All funded providers participate in early years improvement partnerships in quads and quintets, working with partners in local authority settings for self-evaluation and improvement.
  • All funded providers are given access to a wide range of Stirling Council CLPL opportunities at no cost, this includes evening bitesize training sessions which can better meet the needs of funded providers unable to attend daytime training sessions, termly practitioner forums, curricular 'champions' training (e.g. Play, Literacy, Numeracy, Digital), first aid and food hygiene and an annual early years conference. Funding can also be made to reduce cost of access to external training opportunities, e.g. the Adventures with Alice programmes.
  • In addition, Stirling Council have a workforce development fund which all funded providers can apply to in order to support qualifications. This can be support worker or practitioner level qualifications, or support for degree level study. Practitioners who require a qualification for their role receive 100% funding, practitioners wishing to access a qualification to enhance their development can access up to 50% of their funding.
  • Funded providers also have access to the Equity budget which provides additional funding to support children with ASN. All funded providers have access to support form the Stirling Council ASN Service, Educational Psychological Services and Speech and Language Therapy.
  • All funded providers are provided with logins / access to Glow (where they can access all relevant Stirling Council guidance, policies and support materials), access to CPD manager (to book education training), and a google license and login (that enables them / their staff to access use google apps (mail, drive, meets, forms, sheets etc). Each setting is also given access to an online training platform, MyLO, to access essential training.
  • 7k per annum is allocated to the SCMA to support training for childminders, and additional funding has been made available from Stirling Council to support the recruitment drive and start-up costs for new childminders, particularly in rural areas. This allows local provision of services where it is needed.

West Dunbartonshire

Benefits include:

  • Free access to all professional learning
  • A designated link Partnership Education Support Officer;
  • Working groups
  • Annual mandatory training
  • Leaders' meetings
  • Partner provider meetings
  • Early stages teacher allocated resource 0.2/0.1 FTE
  • Access to Psychological Services support
  • Link named psychologist
  • Support from the central Early Years team
  • Preparation for inspection
  • Sharing of all guidance developed to support staff
  • Equitable access to workforce development budget.

West Lothian

Additional support to partner providers includes:

  • Support in relation to quality improvement provided by the Early Years Development team.
  • Access to all council provider ELC training events.
  • Targeted resources to support delivery of Froebelian pedagogy.
  • Access to Froebel Certificate (University of Edinburgh).
  • Support visits by EY Development team
  • Access to EY team for advice and support
  • Access to all WLC Council ELC training events including partnership events with West Lothian College.
  • Termly partnership liaison meetings with WLC senior managers,
  • Pre and post Care inspection support.

Western Isles

  • Responsible for providing the cost of training, grants, and teacher time for support and transition within the limitations of the budgets allocated.


Email: elcpartnershipforum@gov.scot

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