ELC Improvement Programme
Resource Type Care Inspectorate Programmes & Publications

Early learning and childcare improvement programme

Meet the team:

 Vicky Lamb, Senior Improvement Advisor

 Hillary Brookes, Improvement Advisor

 Linda Ferguson, Improvement Advisor

 Lesley Mitchell, Improvement Support Assistant

ELC Improvement Programme -Talking heads video

        The ELC improvement team have produced a talking heads recording featuring an ELC inspector and a service from cohort one of our programme. It shares the experience and impact the programme has had on the service and the evidence seen by the inspector. You can watch this here.

Please click here to view our latest flash report.

The Scottish Government has funded the ELC improvement programme to support early learning and childcare settings who offer funded places and are not currently meeting the quality criteria of the National Standard  The aim of the programme is to support funded settings to make the improvements they need to meet the quality criteria. 

We work collaboratively with services through the delivery of learning events, providing individual improvement support and the sharing of good practice resources. We work with local authorities to support the improvement of early learning and childcare settings within their authority area.  

We have developed a range of bite sized sessions which are available to all services. These can be accessed by clicking the links below.

Remember to take the time to review the bitesize resources we have available and if you any feedback on these please get in touch with us via our email address.  We look forward to hearing from you.

‘Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!’
Tim Ferriss

Getting in contact. Please email - elcimprove@careinspectorate.gov.scot

Bitesize Session - New Quality Framework

Session 2: 
The ELC Improvement Team have produced a series of  bitesize sessions to introduce the new quality framework. In this second session we focus on how to use evaluative language and best practice guidance to  complete your self evaluation.

Self Evaluation for Improvement - Your Guide


Session 1:
The ELC Improvement Team have produced a bitesize session to introduce the new quality framework.  This session is the first in a series which will support you in using the framework  to it's full potential.  The aim of this session is to introduce the new quality framework for Early Learning and Childcare inspections.

Bitesize Session - Quality Improvement

We have updated our introductory to quality improvement methodology bitesize sessions.

There are four in this series which aim to  introduce and support you in applying quality improvement methodology within your own service. These sessions are designed to be viewed consecutively, with short activities to support you in making sustained improvements within your service.

Week 1 - Identifying a quality issue:

Identifying an area - word doc.


Week 2 -Measurement and setting your aim:

Testing your idea example
Testing your idea


Week 3 - PDSA:

Change ideas doc.
Change planning example sheet
Change planning sheet
Model for Improvement


Week 4 - Implementing and sustaining quality improvement:

PDSA Cycle doc.

Bitesize Session - Personal Planning

We have recorded a short bite size session to support the guidance which was released in November.  Links to the this and supporting guidance can be found below.


Personal Planning document

Helpful links to other websites

COVID 19 Bitesize

We have created a bitesize to share some key information and online resources which can support ELC services to operate safely as we learn to live with Covid-19.  The information used as illustrations within these slides was the most up-to-date available guidance at the time of recording.

Links to any documents we reference throughout this bitesize can be found below this recording on our hub.

Useful website links

Bitesize Session - Quality Framework for daycare of children, childminding and school aged childcare

We are making changes to the way we inspect regulated services using the new quality framework for daycare of children, childminding and school aged childcare.

The framework was developed in collaboration with the sector and we want to continue to engage with you as we consider how it will be used in our inspections.

The framework sets out the elements that will help us answer the key questions about the difference your setting is making to children. Following the launch of our draft framework in June 2021, we are testing our methodology in daycare of children, childminding and school aged childcare services. We aim to undertake 60 inspections between August and September 2021 to enable us to test the revised quality illustrations.

If your service is identified as a “test” inspection, your inspector will inform you on arrival at your service. You can find detailed early learning and childcare provider guidance here.

We have also developed a bite sized session to tell you a bit more about the process.

Your views and input will be invaluable as to how our inspections are conducted in the future. Our inspector will engage with you throughout the test inspection and on completion we will ask you for your feedback to help us finalise our methodology for the full launch of the quality framework in the future.

Bitesize Session - Scrutiny & Assurance during COVID19

In this bite size session we would like to share information about our current approach to the scrutiny of early learning and childcare services including childminders and out of school care.  Information has previously been shared through our regular provider updates and we would ask you to continue to familiarise yourselves with these as they will provide you with the most recent and up-to-date information.

Bitesize Sessions - Quick Wins

We have developed a series of 5 bite sized sessions on quick wins.  These aim to help you make easy to implement improvements that will have a positive impact.  The changes can be delivered quickly, with minimal effort.  We will release one session a week and you can chose the ones that will be helpful to you.  The sessions are:

Safe recruitment
Scottish Social Services Council Registration
Quality assurance calendars

**these videos are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International BY-NCO-ND.  This licence allows users to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the Care Inspectorate. 
The material must not be remixed, transformed or built upon un anyway.
To view a copy of the licence, visit: https//creativecommons.org/licences/by-ncp-nd-4.0

Week 1 - Medication:

Management of medication
in daycare of children and
childminding services 

Do not use antipyretic agents with the sole aim of reducing body temperature in children with fever. Antipyretic agents

Coronavirus in Children


Week 2 - Safe Recruitment


Safer Recruitment Through Better Recruitment

Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice


Week 3 - Scottish Social Services Council  Registration

Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice

MySSSC log in

Scottish Social Services Council registration


Week 4 - Notifications

Care Inspectorate eforms


Week 5 - Quality Assurance Calendars

QA calendar pdf document 

Thank you for watching our bite sized session on quick wins we hope you have found these helpful.  Please click the link below to complete a survey with your feedback.  Thank you.

Quick wins survey

Bitesize Sessions - Key Question 5 self-evaluation

Welcome to our series of four short, bitesize sessions to introduce and support services in completing their Key Question 5 self-evaluation.  They share some pointers and reminders which will support you to think about the information and detail required to ensure you get the very best from your service self-evaluation.  The sessions have been designed to be viewed in sequence.  

To help us measure the impact of these sessions, we would be grateful if you could complete the short feedback questionnaire at the end of session four.

ELC self-evaluation: Introduction to self-evaluation (session 1)

ELC self-evaluation: How are we doing (session 2)

ELC self-evaluation: How do we know (session 3)

ELC self-evaluation: What are we going to do now (session 4)

To help us measure the impact of these sessions, please complete this short feedback questionnaire once you have watched all four sessions. Thank you. ​


Sharing Practice and Key Resources


Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Update
No. 13 – March 2021


This section is dedicated to sharing practice, key resources and quick wins which could benefit your day-to-day work in early learning and childcare. Is there any aspect of practice you would like to see in this section, if so please email elcimprove@careinspectorate.gov.scot


Contact Us

Vicky Lamb – Senior Improvement Advisor
Hillary Brookes – Improvement Advisor 
Lesley Mitchell - Improvement Support Assistant 

Getting in contact. Please email - elcimprove@careinspectorate.gov.scot

Tweet      #ELCImprove

Archive - previous ELC updates

Early Learning and Childcare

National Landscape and Developments

Improvement support section

An introduction to the improvement support section and quality improvement methodology.

Health and Social Care Standards

The Health and Social Care Standards set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland

Latest Children and Young People Bulletin

A weekly bulletin produced by our policy team providing an update on the key developments concerning children and young people

Children and Young People Bulletin: 23 - 29 September 2022

Children and Young People Bulletin: 23 - 29 September 2022

Children and Young People Bulletin: 23 - 29 September 2022

Related Resources