As the national intermediary umbrella organisation in Scotland for school-age childcare, the Scottish Out of School Care Network is involved in advocacy work on behalf of the sector. We are often asked to provide expert opinion and offer views, on proposals, issues or policies affecting the sector either now, or in the future- this can be at national, local or even international levels.
The government, both Scottish and UK, alongside the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) often seek opinions on proposed changes to legislation, new policies and strategies- we ensure that school-age childcare is taken into consideration and what affect any proposals may have on the sector. Often we shall seek the views of the sector to ensure that we are accurately representing your views. Sometimes the views and opinions from the sector are divided and in such instances we must decide on a response which will support the best overall result for children and young people using school-age childcare services.
Currently SOSCN sits on a number of national policy forums including:A Richer Understanding of Article 31 Group; Childhood Practice Workforce Group (formerly Childhood Practice Development Group) (Scottish Social Services Council); Early Years Network Reference Group (NHS Health; Early Years Task Force Sub Group on Family Support, Family Centres and Integrated Early Learning and Childcare (Scottish Government)?; For Scotland's Disabled Children Task Group (Capability Scotland)?; International Play Association (IPA) Scotland, and the National Strategic Infection & Prevention Control Network- Early Years (Care Inspectorate).
In terms of highlighting and discussing policy developments we have a regular policy e-bulletin; policy seminars and occasional consultation events. We also conduct surveys and consultations of our own the sector, as required.
Back issues of the policy e-bulleting, consultation responses and manifestos for both Scottish and UK elections can be downloaded for free from the section below.
Irene Audain and Andrew Shoolbread lead on the policy work of the Scottish Out of School Care Network.