Assessing school age childcare in rural and island areas

Teacher with primary school age children in classroom
Alan Robertson

This week the Scottish Government published research commissioned to explore the challenges of accessing and providing consistent and affordable school age childcare (for ages 4 to 14) in rural and island areas of Scotland.

It builds on recent Scottish Government research and policy focused on childcare, employment and economic development.

In the 2021 Programme for Government, the Scottish Government stated a commitment to building a system of wraparound school age childcare before and after school, and during the holidays where those on the lowest incomes will pay nothing. In the same year, the Scottish Government expanded its funded early learning and childcare (ELC) support for all 3 and 4 year olds in Scotland, and eligible 2 year olds.

This expansion entitles parents to 1,140 hours of funded childcare per year, and has had a high uptake, increasing the number of children accessing funded childcare places, as well as impacting demand on local authority, voluntary, and private providers. This current research addresses some of the wider impacts this has had on childcare providers.

The research explored the existing models of childcare in rural and island areas, the challenges parents face accessing childcare, and challenges providers face delivering childcare. This research also suggests opportunities to address these challenges.

The conclusions and recommendations will help with the next steps in the development of school age childcare in rural and island areas.

Find the report at the link: Assessing school age childcare in rural and island areas - (