Commissioner’s response includes call for better childcare provision

Tam Baillie’s response to the Scottish Government’s proposals for a Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill highlights the need to improve provision of early years child care.

Scotland's Children's Commissioner, Tam Baillie

Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner, Tam Baillie launching @rightweeblether via Twitpic

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 26th September 2012

Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People is Tam Baillie. He and his team work to promote and safeguard children’s rights.

In his response to the consultation by the Scottish Government which ended on Tuesday 25th September, Tam Baillie claims that proposals fail to include in law UN convention on rights of the child. He also stands up for children under-five stating a concern that some local authorities have neglected their childcare provision. He calls for better management of gaps in childcare provision and suggests a ‘requirement’ similar to England and Wales where they must ‘assess childcare sufficiency.’

Health visiting services were also highlighted as an omission and the Commissioner calls for health visiting to be treated with urgency including the need to consider more health visitors for families with under-fives.

On early years child care

On early years learning and childcare the Commissioner’s response includes calls for;

  • Families of under-fives to receive greater health visitor support through a statutory entitlement to core, additional and intensive services from health visiting teams.
  • Pre-natal support be given higher priority in the proposals, especially a clearer focus on preventative support and a specific focus towards pre -birth in particular.
  • Local authorities to better mange gaps in childcare provision and assess ‘childcare sufficiency’, which is a requirement in England and Wales.
  • Prioritisation of flexible, inclusive early learning and child care for disabled children.
  • Suggests that ‘play’ is included within the definition of ‘children’s rights and well being’ with accompanying guidance on indicators.

You can read his response and the five additional briefing papers that underpin and inform his response on the SCCYP website.

Briefing papers

All of Baillie’s papers are available to view at the link below.  You can also access ‘A right blether’, and ‘A right wee blether’, where Baillie and his team spoke to children all over Scotland, from ages 2-5, and 5-18 to inform and engage his work and ‘encourage active engagement and involvement’ from Scotland’s children on issues affecting them.

Source:  Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, What we’re doing, 25th September 2012.

Photo: @RightsSCCYP via Twitpic

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