What is 1140 Hours?
You may have seen in the press and on TV that by August 2020 the Scottish Government is providing up to 1140 hours of funded early years education and childcare per year to all 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 year olds.
Parents have the power, the funding follows the child so you can choose whether your child attends a childminder part time sharing their hours between a nursery and your childminder. This is called Blended Care.
What is Blended Care?
The blended care model is recognised by leaders in the childcare field as being the best of both worlds. Indeed Suzanne Zeedyk a leader in Attachment Theory states "What childminders offer are highly personalised relationships and children especially those who struggle with more chaotic environments, need those kinds of relationships." Dr Elizabeth Kilbey Consultant Clinical Psychologist who specialises in early years development (who you may know from The Secret Life of 4 year olds) says "I passionately believe that childminders have a vital role to play in the development of children and young people because they are in that unique situation to offer them home based care in such an attentive and hands on way that I don’t think you can parallel in other settings."
The Care Inspectorate’s Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Statistics 2015 Report rates 94% of childminders as good, very good or excellent. They deliver quality services, developing a child’s mind and building confidence within a family childcare experience. Being cared for by a childminder gives children the chance to learn from real-life experiences. Everyday activities, like trips to the shops, visits to the park, enjoying family mealtimes or taking part in the school pick-up, all teach children valuable life lessons.
How will this work in Inverclyde?
Inverclyde Council has been running a pilot scheme in selected nurseries with partner provider childminders from within our Network to trial this model. Our Network are finding that parents are happy that their child is experiencing a high level of care in both environments and parents are enjoying the flexibility that using a childminder brings. Parents love knowing their child is able to attend a nurturing, fun and interactive environment with a childminder and that they are thriving in a smaller childminder setting with its much lower ratios, whilst still being able to access a nursery setting part of the week. Nurseries and partner provider childminders work together to support the child.