Recruitment drive for new childminders in Scottish communities where they are most needed

The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) is embarking on the second phase of a major campaign to recruit new registered childminders in urban and rural areas to help establish childminding places for families.

The new phase of the campaign aims to recruit and train 115 new childminders in specific communities where they are most needed in Scotland.

The project provides a fully funded support and training available to successful applicants, providing everything needed to establish a new childminding business.

The campaign which is led by the SCMA, with funding from Scottish Government is following on from the success of a rural pilot project in 2022 which has seen almost 60 new childminders complete registration (or apply for registration) to the Care Inspectorate with the intent of establishing childminding businesses in remote and rural areas of Scotland.

The project is now seeking to increase increase the number of childminding businesses, targeting additional areas of Scotland where there are currently not enough childminders to meet the level of demand from working families seeking local and flexible childcare.

The second phase will help to further test the application of SCMA’s supported childminder recruitment model in larger and more densely populated urban areas.

There will also be a continuation of recruitment already started in two local authorities (Dumfries & Galloway, Highland and Islands), where demand for childminders is critical.

Graeme McAlister, chief executive of the Scottish Childminding Association, said: “This campaign builds on the success of our 2022 pilot where we successfully recruited new childminders in remote and rural communities. Whether in rural areas, towns or cities, this form of high-quality childcare is a vital asset to families and the recruitment of more childminders is another important step towards addressing the urgent demand for high-quality childcare from parents and carers.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for those living in these target areas, who may be considering getting back into work, or looking for a change of career which supports a better work/life balance, to access a wealth of support in setting up their own sustainable childminding business and to begin a new, rewarding career working with children.

“The childminding workforce has been declining and there is an acute need, and unmet demand, for childminding in many parts of Scotland. Our rural pilot has tested a supported model for recruiting new childminders which has been delivering strong results. By further testing its application in urban areas and applying learning from our rural pilot, we very much believe the next stage will be scaling-up this campaign nationally.”

The target urban communities are within areas of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and East Renfrewshire with the aim of recruiting 75 new childminders, with the follow-up recruitment within Dumfries & Galloway, and Highland and Islands to recruit 40 new childminders.

Minister for Children and Young People Clare Haughey added: “The Scottish Government wants to encourage more people into childminding and we are pleased to be working in collaboration with SCMA and others to develop the second phase of this innovative pilot to support recruitment in specific areas.

“Childminders provide a unique, flexible and tailored experience of childcare and they are a much valued part of our Early Learning and Childcare workforce.”

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