Scottish Government announces National Standards for 1140 hours
Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd announced the details of the National Standard and Funding Follows the Child today.
The 1140 hours scheme, developed in partnership with COSLA, will guarantee that every child that attends a funded early learning and childcare (ELC) session will receive a healthy meal.
It will also ensure that children have access to outdoor play sessions. It will enable providers to pay staff at least the real Living Wage.
The scheme is due to be introduced in August 2020 and will be ‘provider neutral’ giving parents choice over where they choose to send their child to nursery.
Jonathan Broadbery, National Day Nurseries Association’s Head of Policy and External Relations, said: “Nurseries want to support the Government’s admirable ambition of Scotland being the best place for a child to grow up, with the National Standard at the heart of it. An important part of this approach is parental choice and flexibility for working families – so it is important that private and third sector nurseries are able to offer the 1140 hours.
“The principle of ‘funding follows the child’ appears sound but in reality we are seeing lots of different interpretations on the ground. With local council’s remaining as gatekeepers this announcement does nothing to address those differences. The big question is whether we will we still see different rates of funding per child depending on which type of provider their parents choose.
“The Scottish Government has acknowledged that 40% of nurseries weren’t getting enough funding to cover their delivery costs in 2016, and these have only shot up since then. Despite this, there is only patchy support to help private and third sector nurseries to be ready for the expansion in 2020. Some councils are telling providers they have already spent their allocations so there can be no help for other providers even if that would have been better value for money.
“All nurseries want to pay their staff well as they know the value of qualified and quality people to their businesses. However, asking nurseries to differentiate what they pay their staff is just not workable. How can you justify paying members of staff educating three and four-year-olds more than those caring for toddlers? It will impact on their ability to recruit and retain qualified staff, their ability to expand and offer these funded hours.”
Find out more here.
Watch Jane Malcolm on Scottish Television speaking about it here
, from around 4 minutes.