School age childcare: progress report

The school age childcare progress report captures what we have learned over the past year since our public consultation and sets out the steps we are taking to move closer to our vision for school age childcare in Scotland whilst considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflections and Forward LookForward Look

Our consultation has shown that there are challenges for children and families in accessing affordable and appropriate school age childcare and activities which provide a range of options to suit their particular needs. 

Our consultation also shows that there are challenges for the school age childcare sector in providing diverse and sustainable services, particularly for families on low incomes and families with children who have complex additional support needs. 

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted families and providers in many different ways, introducing new challenges for all.

Further work is needed to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted childcare requirements, and how it has affected those organisations providing school age services to in terms of future adaptability and sustainability. 

Our Access to Childcare Fund projects, and pilot projects exploring rural childcare, sports provision and childminder models, will provide us with information about how to remove some of the barriers associated with accessing school age childcare for low income families and those who typically find it difficult to access childcare services. We hope that the learning from these innovative projects will provide us with new models of school age childcare for the future.

We have committed within this progress report to:

  • Continue to work collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders to shape our strategic framework for school age childcare and activities.
  • Establish a public panel of parents and carers and children and young people to ensure our developing policy meets their needs.
  • Produce a children's charter for school age childcare to complement our strategic framework.
  • Undertake a financial sustainability health check to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the school age childcare sector taking account of particular challenges for different service types.
  • Continue to support our 15 Access to Childcare Fund projects to test the changes required to deliver more accessible and affordable school age childcare for low income families.
  • Support our childminding school age childcare project working in partnership with the Scottish Childminding Association.
  • Work in partnership to support rural and sports and activity pilot projects to further test changes.

These actions will shape our strategic framework, which will be delivered in the next Parliament.

That framework will set out what will be required to deliver our future vision for school age childcare in Scotland as we emerge from the current COVID-19 crisis and enter a period of economic recovery and social renewal. 

Diagram of school age childcare policy development (summarising work to date and commitments outlined in report)



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