CHANGE Weekly Bulletin 29 November 2019
This week saw us put the finishing touches to two key pieces of work that we hope will influence policy and decision-making in relation to out of school care (OSC) and Childminding. Firstly, we have finalised our response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Draft Framework for Out of School Care in Scotland. CHANGE has been contributing to this work for some time and we represent Children in Scotland (CiS) on the OSC Reference Group that contributed to this initial consultation document. Regular readers of this bulletin will be aware that one of CHANGE’s key objectives is the expansion of out of school care (OSC) in the Parkhead area of Glasgow. In the course of this work, we have met with OSC providers, families, community organisations, education professionals and children and young people to ask them about their views on out of school care. This has provided us with a unique perspective on OSC and what needs to change in order to make it more accessible to families. We look forward to publishing our response on our website soon.
The second element of our work this week has focused on children and young people’s views on Childminding. CHANGE and our colleagues from the Policy, Projects and Participation at CiS recently carried out a series of participation and engagement (P&E) sessions with children in an OSC setting and a primary school class. This formed part of our contribution to the Clyde Gateway Childminding Project. This project, which also includes the Scottish Childminding Association and Jobs and Business Glasgow as partners, aims to recruit 20 new Childminders in the Clyde Gateway area. Our draft report is expected to be released to partners next week and will focus on the following areas:
- How aware are children and young people of Childminding as a service?
- What do children and young people think are the skills and characteristics required to be a good Childminder?
- What are children and young people’s expectations of a Childminding service?
Within our report we will discuss the findings from our P&E sessions and, based on this learning, will make some recommendations for the project steering group to consider. This ensures that the voices of children and young people are contributing to the development of new Childminding services in the CHANGE area from the outset.
Children and families' sector news
ELC Inclusion Fund and ELC Innovation Awards
The deadline for the current round of the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Inclusion Fund is approaching with applications being accepted until 12pm on Monday 2 December. This is the fourth round of funding provided by the Scottish Government to support children with additional support needs (ASN) in Scotland to access their funded ELC entitlement. The fund can cover the cost of training, the purchase of specialist equipment or specific one-off adaptations to the physical environment that can improve accessibility of services for children with ASN. More information on the fund, including how to apply, can be found here.
Another funding source for ELC providers that is currently open is the ELC Innovation Awards scheme. This fund will provide grants of up to £5,000 for no more than ten services that are demonstrating innovative ELC practice. Successful applicants will also receive support from the Children and Young People’s Improvement Collaborative and other improvement experts. For more information on this fund and the qualifying criteria click here.