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Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Inclusion Fund

The third round of the Scottish Government's Early Learning & Childcare Inclusion Fund is open to applications.

You can submit an application to the Fund by completing the online application form, is available via the link in the orange box on the right.

The ELC Inclusion Fund provides funding to ELC settings to support children with additional support needs (ASN) in Scotland access their funded ELC entitlement. It funds staff working in ELC settings to receive appropriate training and fund resources, equipment and adaptations.

The ELC Inclusion Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Children in Scotland.

About the Early Learning & Childcare Inclusion Fund

The Early Learning & Childcare Inclusion Fund will distribute up to £500,000 in total per annum over four years to selected Scottish registered ELC providers to support children with additional support needs (ASN) to access their funded ELC entitlement and ensure that staff working in their ELC setting receive appropriate training to help them meet the needs of these children.

The intention is that the fund will:

  • Make ELC settings more accessible for children with additional support needs;
  • Result in an increase in the number of ELC staff who are trained and confident to support children with additional support needs;
  • Promote more inclusive learning experiences for children; and
  • Ultimately, result in better outcomes for children with additional support needs.

The fund will cover the following:

  • Suitable training for staff on relevant courses and/or professional learning that address the specific needs of children with ASN.
  • Purchase of specialist equipment and resources (e.g. speech, language and communication aids, sensory equipment etc) to make services more accessible, both physically and in terms of meeting wider learning, developmental and care needs.
  • Specific, one-off adaptations to the physical environment.

*  Funding will not be made available for training/equipment/adaptations that are already provided by the setting as part of their existing budgets/core learning and development provision or that can be funded by the local authority as part of a child’s statutory entitlement.

Applications to the fund for training costs can also include costs associated with attendance at the funded course, such as travel costs and staffing cover for the training delegate/s.

Funding awards will range from £500 to £1,500 in round three. This funding award range may be reviewed for subsequent rounds of the fund.

ELC providers will need to satisfy seven stage one criteria to be eligible for the funding. If all stage one criteria are met then the applicant will be assessed against a further five stage two criteria.

In December 2018, the Scottish Government published Funding follows the child and the national standard for early learning and childcare providers: operating guidance (opens in new tab). You will find all of this guidance of use, but Criteria 6 - Section 2 is of particular relevance for applicants.

If, after reading all of the available guidance, you have any further questions about the Fund or the application process, please contact inclusionfund@childreninscotland.org.uk.

The application deadline date for the third round of funding will be 5pm on Friday 22 February 2019.

If your application is successful, you will receive funds at the beginning of May 2019 (subject to the submission of all requested paperwork).

Application form guidance

Get guidance on completing the application form

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Eligibility criteria

Read the stage one and stage two eligibility criteria

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Best practice example: training

Please refer to this for an example of best practice

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Download application form (reference only)

Access a copy of the application form, for reference

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Online application form

Access the online application form here

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Best practice example: equipment

Please refer to this for an example of best practice

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Technical support

Get technical guidance on completing the application

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