Take part in Out of School Care consultation

Graphic with text 'Out of School in Scotland: draft framework 2019'
Alan Robertson

The Scottish Government wants to support families in accessing high quality, flexible and affordable Out of School Care which benefits children, parents and carers. That is why earlier this year an Out of School Care in Scotland - Draft Framework consultation was launched.

Out of School Care consists of breakfast clubs, after school clubs, holiday clubs and activities programmes for school age children including secondary age children.

The draft framework for consultation sets out a vision for out of school care, considers the current picture, and asks questions about the benefits and challenges of accessing out of school care.

There are many factors which present issues in relation to accessing school age childcare – affordability, availability, and flexibility being the main ones. The Scottish Government want future policies on Out of School Care to be shaped by the people who would benefit from them and in particular they want to hear from people living and working in rural communities.

Kate Smith, Out of School Care Policy Team Leader said:

"We know that in our discussions to date with parents and with providers in rural areas that many of the childcare challenges can be greater, particularly in areas of fluctuating populations or in very remote communities or farms.

"However, what we have found so far is that some of the most creative and innovative solutions to challenges, including approaches to funding, are being found within rural communities."

There are 18 questions within the consultation and there’s no requirement to answer them all however there are three question which are most relevant with regard to remote and rural challenges and solutions.

  • How can we help to ensure that all families have access to an out of school care place for their child/ren if they want it? (Q5)
  • How can services be more effectively delivered in rural/remote areas to meet the needs of families? (Q9)
  • What can we do to support community based approaches to delivering out of school care? (Q2)

Kate continued:

"We’re really keen to hear about both the challenges but perhaps more importantly the solutions which are unique to rural provision of childcare.

"We would be happy to come and speak to any communities face to face who might be interested in sharing any information with us in response to the consultation. This week we were in Inverness and Tain doing some face to face consultation and we’ll be in Shetland on the 20th and 21st November, which we’re really looking forward to."

Childcare needs are unique in every community and there is no one size fits all solution so the Out of School Care Team are keen to hear from anyone who can highlight potential models which work in a rural context or which could work if there was better support.

The consultation will be open until 6 December 2019.