What have we learned so far?
Feedback from OSC providers
The out of school care (OSC) services highlighted in this summary provide registered childcare for school-aged children. All services are regulated and inspected by the Care Inspectorate.The CHANGE team has spoken to every OSC provider in the project area. In many cases we have developed strong working relationships with providers and continue to engage on a regular basis.
Key points are:
The main concerns reported by OSC services are access to suitable premises and the recruitment and retention of staff.
OSC services can only offer most staff part-time working hours. Some providers are actively linking with childcare employment agencies to support staff to find work outside of these hours.
OSC providers told us that staff recruitment and retention was becoming increasingly difficult with many staff leaving the sector for full-time work in nurseries.
It is common for managers to have to cover for staff shortages by carrying out duties usually held by practitioners. This has the knock-on effect of reducing the amount of time a manager can spend on required administrative tasks.
OSC services stated that it would be beneficial if the design of new school buildings took into consideration the childcare needs of the local community. Most services are unable to expand their current premises but would consider moving to a school building with a larger space available.
There can be difficulties when an OSC service uses a shared space in a school or community facility. However, there are very limited opportunities for OSC services to be based in their own premises and many other community venues are unsuitable for registered childcare.
Having sole use of a space was highly valued by OSCs. Services with sole use of their space benefited from being able to decorate the play areas as well as using the space outside of operating times for parents’ meetings or staff training. Having a dedicated office space or quiet area to speak to parents is felt to be beneficial.
Administration and information
Most OSC services reported some challenges when dealing with administration requirements. This included systems for the collection of fees and the management of applications and waiting lists. This was especially challenging during staff shortages.
Engagement with families highlighted the complexities of finding and applying for childcare. Some providers told us that they issued handbooks and flyers to parents, but some services lacked the time and resources to do this. Parents say that accessible information could ease the difficulties in looking for childcare.
The information in this learning summary was drawn from the following sources.
Engagement with providers. CHANGE has developed strong working relationships with childcare providers across the project area. Staff regularly meet with providers directly and attend all local childcare forums and to hear about issues currently affecting services in North East Glasgow.
North East Glasgow OSC Forum. Members of the CHANGE team have attended the North East Glasgow OSC Forum on a regular basis. This has provided an opportunity to engage directly with OSC providers based in the CHANGE area and in neighbouring communities.
Summary of Riverbank Primary work. In 2018/19 CHANGE supported the Parent Council of Riverbank Primary to identify an OSC provider who could deliver a service from the school when it opened in August 2019. This paper summarises CHANGE’s work in relation to this.
Scottish Government ELC Updates. Children in Scotland (the CHANGE lead partner) is represented on the Scottish Government’s strategic forum for ELC. This allows us to keep abreast of national policy developments while working with local providers.
The Cost of Childcare, CHANGE Project Area December 2018. An in-depth analysis of what families might need to pay to use childcare in the CHANGE area. This paper also contains some discussion the impacts that the cost of childcare has on families and providers.