Childcare Policy Priority for New First Minister in Scotland

Young girl child sitting at table painting a rainbow

Childcare Policy Priority for New First Minister in Scotland

Following Nicola Sturgeon’s departure as First Minister, her successor Humza Yousaf has announced a new scheme aimed at relieving child poverty by funding more school age childcare. The programme allocates a funding pot of £15 million that a range of organisations who provide Out of School care will be able to access. In tandem with this policy has come an announcement that Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate have begun working together on a joint inspection framework for ELC services including childminding and school age childcare in Scotland.

Childcare also featured prominently in Yousaf’s campaign to become SNP leader. He promised that if elected Scotland’s existing childcare entitlement would be extended to one and two year olds, more or less matching the policy announced by Jeremy Hunt in England. He also promised a £25m childcare fund for parents returning to work. His rival Katie Forbes, who finished second in the leadership race, was more circumspect, but also promised to direct revenue towards reducing childcare costs.

Once again, childcare has been proved to be of paramount importance to politicians looking to win votes, though for childcare providers, the devil will be in the details. Funding for more places needs to be sufficient to run a successful setting, and any changes to the inspection regime need to be carefully thought through so that neither quality nor professionalism is compromised. As always, the Scottish childcare sector will need to work to make its voice heard as reforms are debated and decided.

In person events consulting on the changes to the inspection framework are being held, and dates can be found here: