£250,000 childminding initiative supports Midlothian families back into employment
The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) is seeking a bank of childminders to match with the parents and carers of school age children, who are looking to get back into employment in Midlothian.
The ‘Access to Childminding’ (A2C) service received £250,000 of funding from the Scottish Government’s Access to Childcare Fund, to help move more parents and carers into employment by matching them with professional childminders in their local area who can provide flexible childcare.
The scheme is being piloted initially in City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Midlothian and North Lanarkshire.
SCMA is seeking around 100 childminders across the five pilot areas to take part, who have capacity within their setting to provide before and after school care.
Janine Ryan, Head of Childminding Services at SCMA, said: “One of the barriers to parents being able to move into employment is being able to find affordable childcare locally.
"We believe A2C will really support that initial step into employment for parents with school age children – and they’ll have peace of mind that their child is receiving professional, high-quality and nurturing childcare, while they take that exciting step back into work.
“A2C is also a fresh, new business opportunity for childminders in Midlothian who wish to take part. It provides the potential for them to enhance their service by introducing new families who may not otherwise have considered using a childminder.
"We would really love to hear from childminders who would like to give it a try, and from parents who think it might help to support them.”
Funded placements are offered for up to 12 weeks for before and after school care during term-time, as well as during holiday periods.
Janine continued: “There are many parents who may be new to this form of childcare and may not be familiar with its benefits - but the A2C project provides a unique opportunity to sample how using a local childminder could really help to support them to take that step back into work."