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Providers and policymakers meet to discuss out of school services to mitigate poverty as Access to Childcare Fund Network launches

A special online event today marks the commencement of the Access to Childcare Fund Network, which brings together providers supported by the Fund, experts on Scotland’s out of school care sector and child poverty, and representatives from the Scottish Government.

Launched in July with successful applicants announced last month, the Fund aims to make childcare more accessible, flexible and affordable, particularly for children and families most affected by low incomes.

Today’s event will offer a policy and a practical taster about the Fund’s aims and give network members a chance to connect and form a deeper understanding of the value of their own contribution within the out of school sector as well as the anti-poverty agenda.

Participants will hear about the latest policy developments in relation to the Child Poverty Delivery Plan and the Out of School Care Framework, while some examples of best practice and insights into local communities will be shared by on-the-ground childcare providers.

At today’s launch event Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, will discuss how the Fund aligns with Every Child, Every Chance, the Scottish Government’s child poverty delivery plan, and the government’s work to support families.

Christian Barry, Early Years and Childcare Directorate, will comment on the development of the draft Out of School Care Framework, the forthcoming publication of the final Framework, and the role the learning from the Access to Childcare Fund can play in developing School Age Childcare policy.

Director of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, John Dickie, will present on the current reality of child poverty in the context of COVID-19.

And Jacqueline Lamb, CEO of Indigo Childcare, will introduce their provision in Castlemilk, Glasgow, and how they plan to use support from the Fund to deliver innovative out of school care in the local area.

Children in Scotland’s CEO Jackie Brock said: “We’re looking forward to convening a powerful group of representatives who combine knowledge of legislation, policy and best practice as part of this new network which will advance the aims of the Fund.

“With insights from Scottish Government, campaigners and childcare providers equipped with unique understanding of how to support communities and families, the event reflects our shared ambition to open up routes to childcare and reduce levels of child poverty in Scotland.”

The inception event for the network is the first of a planned series of sessions over the next 18 months in which projects will share their learning and discuss ambitions, progress and challenges linked to work supported by the Fund.

Access to Childcare Fund

Launched in July, the fund is a key feature of the Child Poverty Deliver Plan

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Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan

The Fund addresses one of the actions highlighted in Every Child, Every Chance

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The Scottish Government

Find out more about the range of responsibilities of the government, including education and childcare

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Out of School Care

The fund complements the Scottish Government’s draft Out of School Framework

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