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Support Organisation for School Age Childcare


Scottish Out of School Care Network (SOSCN)

Floor 4, 41 St Vincent Place


G1 2ER

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The Scottish Out of School Care Network (SOSCN) is the national charitable intermediary organisation supporting the Out of School Childcare sector in Scotland.


SOSCN provides support, mentoring, training, resources and Quality Assurance to childcare services which provide childcare, play and learning opportunities for school-age children in Scotland. We undertake relevant research including an annual workforce survey. We also work closely with national and local governments, as well as associated regulatory and improvement organisations to support the development of policy, practice, regulation and legislation.

SOSCN is a Scottish registered charity (SC020520) and a Company Limited by Guarantee Company (No. SC200662).

About Out of School Childcare Care in Scotland

The Out of School Childcare (OSC) sector is the largest provider of play opportunities for children in Scotland. 



There are 716 OSC Services in Scotland registered with the Care Inspectorate where OSC is their main service, and a further 248 registered childcare services (primarily nurseries) providing OSC as an additional service. This creates an overall total of 964 registered OSC services.


The main service OSC provide 32,800 registered places. 



There is a total of 588 registered breakfast clubs of which, 352 are delivered by main service OSC and 236 are provided by additional service OSC (again, primarily nurseries).  



There is a total of 482 registered holiday childcare services, of which 39 are main-service holiday playschemes, 320 are provided by registered main-service OSC and the remaining 223 are mostly provided by nurseries.


In total, more than 51,000 children are registered with school age childcare services. 


(Early Learning and Childcare Statistics 2020, published March 2022:

Out of School Childcare Registration, Regulation & Inspection


School Age Childcare services are required to register as a ‘daycare of children service’ with the Care Inspectorate (the regulation and inspection agency) if they provide care for more than two hours on a daily basis and for more than 6 days in a year. A service which identifies as being an ‘activity’ service (as opposed to ‘care’ service) does not need to register.

Services are inspected according to the National Health and Social Care Standards and are awarded a grade from 1 (unsatisfactory) to 6 (excellent).

School age childcare services must operate with a minimum of 2 staff and on a ratio of either 1 adult: 8 children or 1 adult: 10 children.

Care Inspectorate:

Out of School Childcare Workforce Registration & Regulation Requirements

Individual workers in registered daycare of children services must also be registered with the Scottish Social Services Council on one of three registers:

  • Lead Practitioner (Manager),

  • Practitioner, or

  • Support Worker


For each part of the register there is a SSSC approved qualification requirement. In general, the following qualifications are required for registration:

Lead Practitioner: BA Childhood Practice/ PDA Level 9 Childhood Practice/ Post Graduate Diploma Childhood Practice/ Masters of Childhood Practice

Practitioner: SVQ Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF Level 7/ HNC Childhood Practice

Support Worker: National Certificate Early Education and Childcare/ SVQ Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF Level 6/ Any practice qualification in the practitioner category

Other qualifications may be recognised for each category, however the revised Playwork qualifications are now not acceptable for registration without 2 additional units from Social Services (Children & Young People) qualifications.

If an individual is not appropriately qualified, they will be registered with a condition to gain the appropriate qualification within 5 years. Over a five-year registration period, workers must also complete 10 days or 60 hours of Continuing Professional Learning (CPL).

It is the individual’s responsibility to ensure their annual registration is up to date, which they must also pay for. Workers have 6 months from starting employment to ensure that they are registered with the SSSC.

As the regulator of the workforce, the SSSC can remove individuals from the register and bar them from working within care services.

Both workers and employers must adhere to and support the SSSC Codes of Practice.

Scottish Social Services Council:

Government Policy and Initiatives for Out of School Childcare in Scotland

In recent years the Scottish Government has committed to developing a Framework for School-age Childcare which includes expanding provision of school age childcare. 

2019 - A Draft Framework for Out of School Care Consultation

In August 2019 a public consultation on a draft framework for out of school care in Scotland was launched- the framework was the culmination of 18 months of discussions, surveys and work conducted by a dedicated Out of School Care team in the Scottish Government. 


Out of school care in Scotland – draft framework: consultation (30th August 2019)


2020- Publication of results of the draft framework consultation

In November 2020 the Scottish Government published the results of the previous year’s consultation.


Out of school care in Scotland- draft framework: consultation analysis (16th November 2020)


2021 – Commitment to expand out of school care provision in “A Fairer, Greener Scotland: Programme for Government 2021 – 2022”

In September 2021 the Scottish Government published their programme for government 2021 – 2022 which included a commitment to “Build a new system of wrapround childcare- ensuring low income families with school age children have access to free childcare, before and after school and over the holidays.”

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