children in a ball pool playing and laughing, behind them sit three nursery teachers

New National Charter outlines childcare services in Scotland

Children in Scotland have been given the opportunity to identify their own priorities for a new funded school-age childcare offer.

Yesterday, a new Children’s Charter was launched, with children identifying kindness, community fun and fairness as the priorities for the future offer. The Charter will be utilised to help with the design of a school-age childcare system, with the people that it will affect the most being given the chance to share their views on things such as how it is funded, why it is needed, who should run it, and the activities that should be on offer.

Primary schools from across Scotland, involving approximately 125 children, created five local charters to guide how out of school care in the community can be done best. After creating the local charters, the groups then collaborated on the National Charter, which will be used to guide the nationwide school-age childcare system of the future.

Front cover of the School age childcare - National children's charter
Front cover of the School age childcare - National children's charter

Natalie Don, Children’s Minister, said:

“Developing a system of school-age childcare is a ley priority for the Scottish Government. Giving children the opportunity to get involved at the heart of policy making ensures that we design services that better meet their needs in the future.

“As we publish the Charter during Challenge Poverty Week, all of the children that took part share our ambition to put fairness at the forefront in a future childcare system. Not only will it reduce barriers for children to access a wide range of activities and support, it will also allow parents and carers to enter or sustain employment or increase their hours at work.

“I am grateful to all of the children who participated so meaningfully in this important exercise. Their input is a vital part of our Delivery Framework, which I am also pleased to be publishing today. The Framework sets out our key action areas for building a new system of school-age childcare and how we will continue to involve children, parents, providers, and communities in delivering this.”

At the moment all children aged three and four years old, as well as eligible two year olds are entitled to 1,140 hours of funded early education and childcare in Scotland, however the Scottish Government is working alongside local authorities and other partners to introduce an expanded national offer for families with two year olds. This would be accompanied by targeted early deliver of all age childcare for families that are on a low income.

 

Image credit: iStock

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