Aberdeen City Council’s Strategic Commissioning Committee agreed yesterday (Thursday 30 January) to renew a contract with the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) for the provision of a Childminding Support Service in the city.
Childminding is currently part of the Early Learning and Childcare provision for eligible 2-year-olds in the city and will become part of the universal offer for all 3 and 4-year-olds from August 2020, when the Early Learning hours entitlement will increase from 600 hours to 1140 hours.
Aberdeen City Council has successfully worked in partnership with the SCMA for over 19 years to recruit, train and support childminders in order to provide family support services to those in need of an early intervention.
There are currently 160 childminders in Aberdeen. Of these, 37 have had specialist training to become community childminders. There are currently 29 community childminders that offer Early Learning and Childcare for eligible two-year-olds.
The Childminding Support Service in Aberdeen will consist of:
Development Officer and Training, which will include:
- Promote childminding as an appropriate source of delivery of the funded 600 hours (rising to 1140 hours in August 2020) of Early Learning and Childcare for eligible 2-year-olds and for 3 and 4-year-olds in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.
- Support childminders who wish to be part of the 1140 hours blended Early Learning Childcare offer from August 2020.
- The recruiting of new childminders to provide a net gain of 25 new childminders across the city annually in order to continue to expand the Early Learning workforce.
- Promote childminding as a career or care option to young parents.
- Actively promote learning through play.
- To deliver Community Childminding as part of a family support services offer in the city to assist families who require an early intervention service.This will be done via a referral to the SCMA development officer and an assessment of needs based on Child’s Plan.
- Each family who is allocated a community childminding place can access up to 36 hours of support and, in cases where need is greater, up to a maximum of 72 hours of support.
- To support around 10 new childminders annually who live in regeneration areas of the city or who are on specific benefits.Grants will be capped at a maximum of £300 per childminder.
Councillor Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council and convener of Strategic Commissioning committee said: “As a council we have a statutory duty to ensure that funded Early Learning and Childcare entitlement is available to all eligible children in Aberdeen.
“Aberdeen City Council is the primary guarantor of quality and key enabler in offering flexibility and choice, ensuring that there is a range of options for families in the city. This includes offering high quality childminding provision a part of our Early Learning and Childcare provision.”