May 2023

Funding News

We are pleased to announce that we have been guaranteed funding up to the end of March 2025 through The Childcare Sector Representation and Sustainability Fund, and an extension of the CYPFEIF & ALEC Fund. This funding provides us with money to help support the core running costs of the organisation and representation at a policy level. At present we are still able to offer free membership but we will need to increase income generation opportunities as we go forward.

Meeting with new Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise, Natalie Don

SOSCN was invited, along with other national childcare representative organisations, to meet with Natalie Don, Minister for Children and Young People who was appointed in April. The meeting was held in April at the parliament, and senior civil servants from the Early Learning and Childcare Directorate were also present. At the meeting we were able to highlight the issues currently facing the sector, and as a follow on from this meeting the Minister has requested an individual meeting with SOSCN.

About Natalie Don MSP

Natalie Don was born in Paisley and grew up in Bridge of Weir and studied History at University of Glasgow. Before and during her time at university, Natalie worked in a variety of sales roles working her way to Manager of a local food retailer.

Natalie was elected as the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Renfrewshire North and West in 2021. Prior to this, she served as the Councille for Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank.

Until her appointment in April as Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise, Natalie was the Convenor for the Social Justice and Security Committee, and a substitute member of the Education Children and Young People Committee.

Representation on National Policy Groups

We have been representing School Age Childcare on a number of working groups: for the SSSC we have been active on the Future Proofing Programme Stakeholder Advisory Group, the Common Core Stakeholder Advisory Group, as well as groups reviewing the Codes of Practice and Continued Professional Learning. We have also been involved in the review of the Shared Inspection Framework with the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland. We are additionally engaging with Skills Development Scotland as a member of their Childcare Skills Group. We continue to represent school age childcare on the government’s Childcare Sector Working Group.

SOSCN Surveys

We have already shared the main findings from both the workforce and parent surveys with the Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise, government, SSSC and Skills Development Scotland, and Irene has been invited to contribute evidence to the Inquiry into Child Poverty and Parent Employment at the Scottish Parliament on 26th May.

Moving forward, we shall be having further and wider discussions and hosting sharing opportunities which focus on issues raised in both surveys. Below are very brief summaries of the findings with links to the documents.

Workforce Survey

The workforce survey has now been analysed and the report has been published on our website - many thanks to those of you who participated in this survey, your input is greatly appreciated. As ever the results show that staff love working with children, and especially older (school-age) ones. However, the workforce continues to face pressure and stress caused by regulatory expectations and requirements, paperwork and ongoing staffing difficulties alongside part-time hours and generally low pay.

Download the survey:

Parent Survey

The parents survey had a great response with 350 completed submissions. This too has been analysed and the report is now available on our website. The survey results show that just under 50% of parents were unable to access sufficient or any school age childcare which was having a major impact on their ability to work or take up employment which had a corresponding impact on household income or wellbeing. As a follow-up to this we are meeting with representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions in Scotland who are looking at the issue of childcare as a barrier to access or remain in employment.

Download the survey:

Physical Activity Training

Greig continues to deliver his physical activity training sessions and is now offering football coaching sessions during the holidays.

You can find out more about physical activity training here:

And to find out more and make an enquiry about football coaching, please see this link:

Events and Training

We are pulling together an events and training calendar for the next 10 months which will be available shortly. This will be a mixture of online and in-person sessions with local opportunities across the country and a national conference in November.

Upcoming sessions:

International Learning Session – Mon 5th June

We are delighted to welcome back from Australia long-term colleague and friend of SOSCN, Associate Professor Jennifer Cartmel (Griffith University) who, in partnership with playwork expert Kylie Keane, will deliver an in-person learning session about play and practice in Australian school age childcare settings.

In Australian school age care settings educators collaborate with children and young people to provide play and leisure opportunities that are meaningful and support their wellbeing, learning and development. Out of School Hours settings pay attention to the capabilities and curiosities of individual children and young people within a context that promotes collaboration and active citizenship. My Time Our Place Framework for School Age Care in Australia 2.0 was recently updated.

In this session Jennifer and Kylie will share some of the strategies that educators use to provide programs of play and leisure for children and young people. They will use case studies from a range of services in city and regional locations that use playwork. Additionally, they will showcase the input given by children and young people about what they expect from Out of School Hours services.

Kylie Keane and Jennifer Cartmel are looking forward to being back in Glasgow and sharing Australian practice with Scottish school age childcare services. Participants will be provided with attendance certificates to count towards Continuous Professional Learning (CPL).

Book a place:

Get Ready for Summer (FINAL FEW PLACES LEFT) – Mon 12th June

The Scottish out of School Care Network is offering a 2-hour training session to assist services in creating a summer games event within their service. During the two-hour session participants will be introduced to 5 games that will make up the summer games activities. There will also be some 'quick games' demonstrated for services to use around the main games. Participants will be shown different ways to lay out the games along with how to make sure all children's abilities are met.

Services will be taken through creative ways they can involve the children in preparing for the games, for example involving arts and craft to create a baton for a relay. Other art and craft activities may involve making medals, t-shirts, and flags. Services will have the opportunities to take notes and write down ideas as the session goes on regarding how the ideas presented may fit into their specific service layout.

Services will also be given a 'how to' guide after the training to take back to their service to begin the planning of their summer games.

Book a place:

Consultations- Have Your Say

Joint Inspection Framework Consultation – Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland

We were pleased that the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland were able to deliver an online engagement session with our members earlier in the month. This session was well-received and participants greatly appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the development of the framework.

If you have been unable to attend this event or any of those run by the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland, the online survey is open for submissions until Friday 26th May.

Online consultation:

SSSC Revised Codes of Practice Consultation

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is consulting on the revised Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers and they want to hear your views. The deadline for responses is Friday 7th July.

You can get involved in a number of ways: you can complete the online survey or participate in one of the several online and in-person events which are happening across the country in May and June.

Find out more:

last updated: 17/05/2023