OVER £2m worth of funding announced for the childminding workforce in Scotland has been welcomed by industry bodies.
Last month the Scottish Government announced funding for the sector with the newest figure being propped up by an extra £1m.
The new funding means that individual grants of £750 will be available for all childminding settings in Scotland.
The new funding is said to support over 4,300 of these settings and will provide much-needed support for a vital workforce which has been struggling to maintain business viability due to Covid-19.
A survey conducted by the Scottish Child Minding Association (SCMA) in late September showed highlighted that 46% of childminding settings in Scotland did not believe their businesses would remain viable for more than three-six months without either an increase in business, or additional financial support.
The SCMA, welcomed the decision with Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, saying: “ We welcomed the £1m of financial support announced last month, as this would have provided vital support to those childminding settings most in need, but it would only have supported around 1 in 3 childminding businesses in Scotland when the level of need is much greater.
“Since that funding was announced we have been advising the Scottish Government on different potential options for the shape of the sustainability fund, who might be eligible and undertaking a range of financial modelling.
Grants of up to £750 will be available via application to Scottish Government to all childminding services registered with the Care Inspectorate as of 1 February 2021. Further information will be made available as soon as possible on how to apply.
Mr McAlister added:”However, this work just served to further affirm the limited nature of the funding, that applications would require complex needs assessment and ultimately it would fall far short of the level of need – as such, further scaling up of financial support was required.
“To its credit, the Scottish Government has listened and continued to engage positively with SCMA and others.
“The further £2.2 million for childminding is very welcome. However, it is clear that COVID-19 continues to present significant challenges and risks to childminding businesses and that this much-needed financial gain could be easily undermined if any further operating restrictions were to be placed on childminding businesses during the pandemic.”