Responding to the Scottish Childminding Association’s audit of early learning and childcare (ELC), showing only 12.6% of childminders have been approved by local authorities to help deliver the ELC expansion for 3 and 4-year-olds while just 4.2% are currently delivering funded hours, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP commented:
“Last year, the Government were warned that childminders were going out of business because ELC provision was too streamlined.
“The expansion of early learning and childcare should be causing every part of the sector to thrive. However, this report shows that the current approach is causing some to be shut out and it is absurd that the childminding workforce is getting smaller.
“Parents need choice and flexibility. The real risk is that they won’t be able to realise their children’s new entitlement unless the government and local authorities embrace all forms of ELC providers, including childminders.
“Poaching people from childminding to work in local authority nurseries will create as many problems as it solves.
“We need proper partnership working that recognises the contribution made by all parts of the sector.”