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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-21881: Stuart McMillan (Greenock and Inverclyde)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 28 February 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how many childcare providers in receipt of college bursaries (a) meet the Care Inspectorate’s standards and (b) pay staff at least the Living Wage.

Answered by: Maree Todd 14 March 2019

All 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds are currently entitled to 600 hours per year of funded early learning and childcare. The entitlement will increase to 1140 hours a year from August 2020. Discretionary support is also available to students who are parents through their individual colleges and universities. Where assistance is provided for childcare costs from a college or university this may be given in the form of a direct payment to the student or to a nominated third party, for example, a childcare provider.

All childcare providers, by law, must register with the Care Inspectorate before they can operate. The Care Inspectorate’s registration process will determine whether a setting is fit to deliver a daycare of children service. Newly registered settings will then receive a full inspection from the Care Inspectorate within 12 months of being registered.

As part of the Funding Follows the Child approach, from August 2020 a new National Standard for all providers will be introduced. All settings delivering the funded early learning and childcare entitlement will have to meet the National Standard. Under this approach providers will receive a sustainable rate from local authorities, which will enable them to pay the real Living Wage to all childcare workers delivering the funded entitlement from August 2020.

Employers who pay the real Living Wage can, if they wish, seek to become Living Wage accredited. There are already a number of Living Wage accredited private and third sector employers operating in the ELC sector, including Enterprise Childcare in Greenock. Whilst the Scottish Government encourages more providers to become Living Wage accredited, it is not required to the criteria in the new National Standard to be introduced in August 2020.

More information on Living Wage accredited employers in the sector can be found at: https://scottishlivingwage.org/accredited .

There are also other private and voluntary sector providers in the sector who are paying at least the real Living Wage, but have not sought accreditation.