Early learning, childcare and out of school care services: design guidance

Guidance on good design for supporting the delivery of high quality early learning, childcare and out of school care services.

Consultation with Agencies and Regulatory Bodies


As with all building design, the design of any new or refurbished early learning and childcare, or after school care setting, will have to undertake a period of consultation, whether it be statutory or not.

It is recommended that all relevant bodies, including those noted below, are consulted at an early stage in the design and development process to ensure that all are content with the proposed design. This should prevent any last-minute alterations to the building and unnecessary effort, time and cost.

The regulatory bodies that should be consulted are:

Care Inspectorate - Early consultation with the Care Inspectorate regarding potential building design for specific types of service is advisable. Please contact your local registration inspector or the National Enquiry Line on 0845 600 9527 for further help and advice.

Building Standards Division (Scottish Government) - The Scottish building regulations apply to the design, construction or demolition of a building, the provision of services, fittings or equipment and the conversion of a building. For more detailed information on the building standards system, please refer to your local building standards officer.

Environmental Health - Local Authority Environmental Health are responsible for the regulation of food prep and safety in local authority settings, plus private and third sector settings. They also regulate Health & Safety in the private and third sector settings with HSE performing this duty in local authority settings. Please contact your local environmental health officer for further details and to engage them in the design process. The relevant standards used in relation to environmental health are the Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004.

Planning - The planning system is used to make decisions about future development, and the use of land in our towns, cities and countryside. It decides where development should happen, where it should not and how development affects its surroundings. The planning system exists to regulate the use of land and buildings by granting or refusing planning permission. Decisions about planning applications are based on the development plan for your area, which is prepared by your local council or national park authority. For further information around your individual setting please make contact with your local planning department, early on in the design process.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service - Although not a regulatory body the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have conveyed a willingness to work with all early learning and childcare and after school care services to prevent fires and make communities safer. They would welcome consultation at the design stage to field questions individual settings may have over how the building regulations should be applied in relation to fire safety. Please refer to the following website for further contact details - http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/forms/contact-us.aspx.


Email: Jeff Maguire, jeff.maguire@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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