CHANGE Weekly Bulletin 26th October 2017
The Childcare Landscape Part 2 – School-aged childcare
In the second part of our series looking at the evolving childcare landscape in Scotland, we focus on school-aged childcare.
When the Scottish Government unveiled A Nation With Ambition: The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2017-18 recently, national news outlets made little reference to the paragraph titled After-school and holiday childcare. Barely more than one hundred words, this text was almost lost amongst the various commitments made to the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC). However, its significance was not lost on the CHANGE team. The pledge to introduce a strategic framework before the end of this government provides reassurance to many providers of these services. In this week’s bulletin we take a look at the current picture of school-aged childcare in Scotland and some of the services available in the CHANGE project area.
Facts and figures
According to Care Inspectorate figures for 2016 there are more than 1,000 services offering out of school care or holiday care for school-aged children in Scotland. This figure includes children using out school care holiday clubs and playgroups. Services registered as out of school care saw a 6.9% increase in the number of children using them, up from 47,890 in 2015 to 50,830 in 2016. This accounts for almost one quarter of all children using registered childcare nationwide and doesn’t include those attending holiday clubs or playgroups. These figures also exclude services that offer out of school care as an additional service, e.g. nurseries also providing out of school care. When all of these services are taken into account, it is thought that the number of children using out school care is around 79,000.
It seems clear that school-aged childcare, while not having the same national coverage as the ELC expansion, should be considered as a growing sector.
Out of school care in Glasgow East
The Scottish Out of School Care Network (SOSCN) is the national umbrella body for out of school care services and provides training and development opportunities to members. This is supported by a quality assurance scheme, Achieving Quality Scotland. SOSCN has provided valuable insights to the CHANGE team during our first year and helped us open a dialogue with some of the services being provided in the project area.
In the area covered by CHANGE there are five out of school care services providing a total of 166 registered spaces on each week day. The early indications from our discussions with these providers show that many children are using services on a part-time basis, which means that there are likely to be more than 200 children using out of school care each week within the project area. All five services provide pick-ups from local schools during term-time while also offering childcare during school holidays, typically between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
All of the services in the CHANGE area are run as not-for-profit social enterprises or charities. However, although the services have many similarities they are all unique with their own history and style. Some have their own premises while others share a space within schools or community facilities. Staff teams vary too, with a mixture of genders, backgrounds and experience present in each organisation. We look forward to working with each of them over the course of our project.