The registration of childminders, playgroups, nurseries and after school care providers previously was the responsibility of the local authority. Registration and inspection of such care providers now sits with Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS). The SCSWIS regulates and inspects all Scottish care services. Highland area local office is:
1st Floor Castle House
Fairways Business Park
tel: 01463 227630
Highland Council’s Childcare Information Service provides up to date information on registered provision and can be accessed either by:
Telephone: 0845 6011345 (lo-call)
The Highland Childcare website is located in the Related Information section
Care and Learning Alliance (CALA) offers support to voluntary groups providing childcare and early education opportunities to parents, offering a one-stop approach to deliver early education and childcare information to parents. Information can be obtained from the CALA website in the Related Information section
Information about resources for Gaelic in early years can be accessed from the TAIC website located in the External Links section.
A copy of the Highland Play Strategy can be downloaded from the Current Documents section.
A copy of the Highland Council Play Development document entitled How to update your outdoor area a Highland Primary/Pre-school perspective can be downloaded form the Current Documents section.
Highland Council Childcare Information Service
Aims and Objectives
The Childcare Information Service currently provides information on registered childcare and pre-school education services in Highland.
We provide information on:
- Registered Childminders
- Registered After School Clubs
- Registered Day Care Nurseries
- Registered Pre-School Education Providers - local authority/voluntary/private
- Non-registered Parent and Toddler Groups
The Childcare Information Services is available Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm on 0845 6011345. Outwith these times users can email us on email@example.com or visit our web site on the link located in the related information setion. Our office base is Childcare and Early Education Service, Old School, High Street, Clachnaharry, Inverness, IV3 8RB
All enquiries received by the Childcare Information Service will be treated in confidence and any information provided will be impartial and objective. The service will not recommend specific types of childcare or individual providers, but provide sufficient information to allow users to make informed choices.
Who is responsible for the information?
The Highland Family Resource Alliance has overall responsibility for the information held on our database.
Responsibility and ownership of the Childcare link web site rests with the Scottish Executive. The Childcare Information Service administrative team have day to day responsibility for maintaining the information held on the database.
Who can use the service?
The Childcare Information Service is primarily aimed at meeting the needs of parents and carers who wish to access information on local childcare and pre-school education.
The Highland Childcare Information Service will provide information to providers, potential providers, employers enquiring about childcare for employees and statutory bodies requesting information for planning purposes.
What information do we hold?
The service holds the following information on providers:
- Name and contact details
- Type of provision (including whether it is registered)
- Number of places for each age range
- Availability during the year
- Fees charged
- Ability to cater for children with disabilities or special needs
How do we collect Information?
We collect information using a standard form that has been adapted to suit different types of provider. This form is sent out to providers when they become registered with The Care Inspectorate. When completed and returned to us they are then input onto the database. All information that is held by Highland Childcare Information Service will be treated in confidence except in situation outlined in the confidentiality and data protection policy. Every effort will be made to encourage and ensure full details of all providers are available. However, the Information Service cannot take responsibility for providers who choose not to supply us with their details.
How often will information be updated?
The Highland Childcare Information Service will aim to keep all information as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Holiday Playschemes will be updated every school term, the following every 6 months.
- Full Day Care
- Out of School Clubs
All providers will be encouraged to keep the service informed of any changes to their details and vacancies and will be sent a postcard with the Highland Childcare Information Service telephone number asking them to contact the service should any changes occur. The date information was last reviewed will be noted on each providers record.
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How will we make sure everyone has access to information?
Members of the public can contact the Highland Childcare Information Service by telephone Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm on 0845 6011345 or by logging onto the website (the link for which is located in the related information section) or contacting us via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Callers can expect an immediate response and information requested will be given over the phone or through the post depending on the enquiry. Requests for written information will follow usually within three working days.
An evaluation procedure will be in place to monitor use of the Childcare Information Service and users satisfaction with the service.
What you can expect?
We acknowledge that information relating to children is sensitive and needs to be handled carefully.
We are committed to respecting the confidentiality of enquirers and of childcare and education providers, particularly childminders. You have a right to decide what information you choose to share with us.
You also have a right to know what information is held about you and to change that information if you believe it to be inaccurate. Responsibility for ensuring confidentiality lies with the Highland Childcare Information Service.
The commitment to you
The staff will not disclose any personal details of service users or anyone involved in the service to outside parties without their prior permission except in the following circumstances:
The confidentiality of service users or personnel will only be breached if any information received by the Highland Childcare Information Service gives rise to concern for the safety or wellbeing of a child. The administration team will contact The Care Inspectorate immediately.
We are aware that details of childminders may be used in an improper way. The service will therefore take steps to protect this information.
We will comply with the Data Protection Act. How will we do this?
We will ensure that all staff are aware of, and agreed to adhere to, the confidentiality policy. Breaches of confidentiality will be treated as a serious matter and dealt with according to Highland Council’s Disciplinary Procedures. This confidentiality statement will be reviewed regularly and updated if appropriate.
Equal Opportunities Policy
The Highland Childcare Information Service is fully committed to the active promotion of equal opportunities in providing information on childcare and pre-school education for children that are culturally appropriate and reflect the diversity of children’s needs.
We are determined to make every effort to prevent any discriminations against and promote equality of opportunity to staff and users of these services on grounds of their age, culture, disability, gender, marital status, ethnic origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
Complaints Policy (about providers).
We provide information about childcare and pre-school education. It is not our responsibility to register and/or inspect childcare providers. This is the responsibility of the Care Inspectorate who can be contacted on 01463 227630.
Early Education for 3 & 4 Year Olds 2011-2012
The Government wishes to ensure that all three and four year olds have free pre-school education provision and that good quality, affordable childcare is available locally for parents that require it.
Early Education is a crucial part of a child’s development and helps children to learn as they play. A good quality pre-school experience builds on the valuable learning that takes place in and around the home and develops the learning and other essential skills which children will rely on in later life. Access to education combined with childcare is crucial to many parents and carers to enable them to balance work and family life.
A copy of the leaflet Enrolment Leaflet 2013-14 giving details on enrolment is available from the current document section.
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