18 November 2015
Childminders will be central to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s massive expansion of childcare in both nurseries and childminders, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today.
Visiting Daddy Daycare in Edinburgh, the First Minister announced a new standard of best practice for the profession.
The First Minister said:
Childminders do an absolutely crucial job for parents across Scotland, ensuring that their children are properly cared for while they go out and work.
“A good start in life is, quite simply, the most important gift we can give our young people. We are absolutely committed to ensuring Scotland is the best place to grow up, with every child given the best chance to succeed and with raising attainment a key priority.
“Childminders play a vital role in children’s development, which helps to reduce social inequality and close the attainment gap. They will be central to our ambitions for a massive expansion of early learning and childcare in the years to come.”
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) November 18, 2015
The First Minister joined Alan Balbour, founder of Daddy Daycare, to have a look at how he runs his childcare facility and how the new training and induction programme could make a difference to him.
The First Minister added:
“However, at present, childminders are not required to undertake any training or even induction. As recently highlighted, well trained, supported and suitably qualified staff are fundamental to improving quality and have a key role in addressing our most entrenched problems of poverty, poor health and poor attainment.
“That is why, alongside the commitment to increasing the level of entitlement to free early learning and childcare to 1140 hours per year, we will also ensure that the provision which will be offered is of the highest possible quality. These new standards will help drive up quality and ensure parents can rest assured that their children are in the best possible hands.
“As we expand the hours that children are entitled to, we will also increase the flexibility of the offer. We will ensure that parents can opt to take their evailable hours of free childcare to better suit their working patterns, with childminders being central to that offer.”
Two more unusual attendees at Daddy Daycare were Alan’s two Maine Coone cats Colossus and Wolverine, who stole the show and the attention of the media!
This is Colossus the cat at the FM's visit to Daddy Daycare. pic.twitter.com/WsH05QzPrI
— Colin Mackay (@STVColin) November 18, 2015