Saturday, 11 May marks the start of Childminding Week in Scotland and the social media channels of the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) will be buzzing with activity, as childminders across the country share their pictures and stories to celebrate the breadth and value of all that they do, each and every day to support children and families in their local communities.

Parents and carers who use a childminder will already know and appreciate the many benefits. In a home-from-home environment, children of different ages can play, learn and grow together –enhancing their confidence and social development.  

In the current climate, the cost of childcare is a concern for many families, but the good news is that parents of pre-school children (age three and four and eligible two year-olds) can choose to use their 1140 hours of funded childcare (sometimes referred to as ‘Funded ELC’) with a childminder – either fully or as part of a blended placement alongside nursery.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

In addition, with Scottish Government’s commitment to build on the provision of school age childcare in ‘early adopter’ communities such as Clackmannanshire and exploring innovative models of funded childcare for children aged nine months to the end of primary school, childminders are ideally placed to continue providing holistic support to families.

Janine Ryan, Director of Childminding Services at SCMA explains “Due to the small numbers in each setting, childminders are able to provide a nurturing environment to suit the individual needs of children and their families.  This can be particularly beneficial for children who may find larger nursery settings overwhelming, or for children with additional support needs. Siblings can also be cared for under one roof, which from a practical point of view can be very helpful for busy parents as they only have one drop-off and pick-up to organise.

“And with childminders you can be assured of the quality of care, as they dedicate considerable time to enhancing their knowledge and skills and undergo rigorous inspections by the Care Inspectorate, ensuring compliance with all the necessary regulations and standards. Registered childminders in Scotland consistently achieve the highest inspection grades of all childcare providers, with 92% rated as ‘good’ or above”.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

Alloa childminder Deborah Foley uses her skills and experience as the owner of ‘Wee Bairns Childminding’ in her role as Activity Planner for Tuesday Tots – a thriving community toddler group that she founded along with childminders Jane McMillan, Diane McAllister and Ishbel Shapcott in February 2023, when they became aware that the local area could benefit from an opportunity to get together, not only for the children,  but also their parents!

She explains "Tuesday Tots is a hub for the community. We are welcoming, non-judgemental, and full of enthusiasm for all children's wellbeing. I enjoy being creative, and as the activity planner, I have the freedom to express this through fun, imaginative, and educational activities."

This vibrant group offers children the chance to play, develop, and socialize, while parents receive support and advice. With a drop in and “pay as you please” system, healthy snacks, planned activities and free play areas, we do all that we can to ensure everyone's needs are met and that all families feel included.

As parents to two year-old Jackson, Tamara and Dave would have no hesitation in recommending a childminder to other families:  "We struck gold with Wee Bairns! Debbie's home is warm, inviting, and a safe place for children to learn and play. She has been our child's constant since he was just five months old and her loving care and nurturing environment have played a huge part in his development. We couldn't be happier."

Looking for a childminder near you? Check out SCMA’s childminder search

Interested in becoming a childminder? Visit for details of a unique package of funding and support currently available in areas of Clackmannanshire.

Keen to try out Tuesday Tots? All welcome from 9.15am-11.00am, Ludgate Church Hall, Beford Place, Alloa.