Guidance on sustainable rates published

The Scottish Government has published guidance on the National Standards for providing 1140 hours funded places.

Under the section advising local authorities about setting sustainable rates, the Government will still use costings collected by Ipsos MORI in 2016. Scottish Government logo

However, it does acknowledge the following about a “sustainable rate”:

  • The rate will support delivery of a high quality ELC experience for all children;
  • It will be a rate that reflects the cost of delivery, including the delivery of national policy objectives;
  • The rate will allow for investment in the setting – staff, resources and physical environment; and,
  • It will enable payment of the real Living Wage for those childcare workers delivering the funded entitlement.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “We are disappointed that the Scottish Government has not heeded the concerns of NDNA Scotland and our members about analysing delivery cost figures from several years ago. We asked for a re-run of the cost survey to get a more accurate, up to date picture in line with increasing costs.

“The Scottish Government in its guidance does state that the sustainable rate must allow for profit to invest in improving its quality of provision. It’s crucial that providers are paid to keep their staff trained to the highest levels and can keep their setting well resourced.

“It also acknowledges the fact that these rates should be reviewed regularly to keep up with inflation and increases to the real Living Wage.

“It’s absolutely vital that Cosla, local authorities and the Scottish Government work together with the sector to ensure that rates are annually reviewed and increased in line with rising costs. This must be monitored closely by the Scottish Government in order to make this policy a success.”

For information, the technical guidance documents are now live on the SG website:

Funding Follows the Child and the National Standard for ELC Providers: Guidance on Meeting Criteria 7 - Business Sustainability;
Funding Follows the Child and the National Standard for ELC Providers: Guidance for Setting Sustainable Rates from August 2020; and,
Funding Follows the Child and the National Standard for ELC Providers: Transition Options Guidance on Contracting.