SCMA Raises Concerns of Reduced Choice Regarding ELC Offered to Parents in North Lanarkshire

SCMA Raises Concerns of Reduced Choice Regarding ELC Offered to Parents in North Lanarkshire
Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive of the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) has written an open letter to North Lanarkshire Council to seek urgent clarification on the inclusion of childminding as an option for parents to receive their funded ELC hours entitlement. 

SCMA has been contacted by a number of very concerned childminders in North Lanarkshire who have, independently, reported to SCMA that childminding is not being presented as an option to parents. They have also reported that parents are being required to identify local authority nurseries only as their options for receiving their funded hours of childcare or, indeed, other local authority facilities which may be re-purposed to provide childcare due to restricted capacity within local authority nurseries.

While local authorities can explore the use of alternative facilities, this should not be the only or primary option where other childcare providers are available to provide capacity. As such, SCMA understands mounting concern amongst local parents and childminders if North Lanarkshire Council is considering re-purposing buildings not designed to provide childcare when there are 140 local childminders and many other private and voluntary providers operating in the area.

Such an approach, if taken, could pose a significant risk to parental choice, the financial viability of many local childminding businesses and future access to childcare in North Lanarkshire.

A full copy of the letter to North Lanarkshire Council is attached as a PDF document. 
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