The IS Recovery and Delivery programme was launched in April 2022 to support the ongoing early learning and childcare expansion work and the new Covid Recovery Strategy workstream.
ELC (Early Learning and Childcare) Expansion
In April 2022, the Improvement Service ELC Expansion Team published the most recent Delivery Progress Report. Figures show that 111,574 children were in funded ELC places at the end of January 2022 - an increase of 20,684 (23%) since August 2021.
Of these, 88% (97,887 children) were taking advantage of the full offer of 1,140 hours of funded ELC a year. The total saving to families from the 1,140 hours offer is estimated to be £4,900 per child per annum.
Workforce-related activity for ELC currently involves planning alongside the Scottish Government on a five-year national Childcare Workforce Strategy. The Strategy will consider themes which include recruitment, retention, workforce planning and qualifications/training. Part of the role of the Improvement Service is to learn about and analyse the ELC Workforce landscape across Scotland to provide an understanding of the challenges and priorities for those delivering the service. This activity also feeds into benchmarking and individual council workforce planning and development.
Local Authority specific workforce planning activity is currently focussing on optimising staffing models, improving recruitment supply and demand, and maximising future leadership potential.
Covid Recovery Strategy
In October 2021, the Scottish Government published the Covid Recovery Strategy. The CRS sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for recovery and outlines the actions to be taken to address systemic inequalities made worse by Covid, make progress towards a wellbeing economy and accelerate inclusive person-centred public services. The Improvement Service is cited in the CRS itself to work with the Scottish Government Programme team to support the delivery of all workstreams: Evidence, Change and Assure. The Recovery and Delivery Programme will:
- Contribute to the joint Analytical Group, developing a frame of indicator for each of the outcomes.
- Draw on existing data and intelligence held in the IS and collate and analyse data from a wider variety of sources, as necessary.
- Support the periodic refresh and analysis of data and intelligence on core indicators.
- Support Local Government and their Partners to develop services and approaches that are effective in improving the outcomes.
- Bring together experts on specific topics to deliver knowledge sharing events in support of practice sharing and understanding.
- Support the collection, development and design of case studies.
- Report on the progress of delivery of the projects and programmes identified in the CRS
- Bring together delivery progress reporting which highlights risks, issues and points of interest in a holistic fashion I.e., from the point of view of both Scottish and Local Government and is external and impartial.
- Give assurance on the extent to which actions are contributing to delivering the outcomes in the CRS.