ELC page Hub image

Safe staffing programme: Information for ELC services

Are you ready for the implementation of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 in April 2024? 

Let us know by completing our short poll.

Supporting the early learning and childcare (ELC) sector to prepare for enactment of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 is Joanne Duncan who is on secondment from our inspection team and Candice Aitken who joined the Care Inspectorate in 2023 and has experience in all sectors in ELC.

The safe staffing programme was commissioned but the Scottish Government to support care services to prepare for the introduction of new legislation, the Health and Care (Staffing)(Scotland) Act 2019. This is the first legislation in the UK to set requirements for safe staffing for both health and care services and will affect legislation that guides the requirements of the services you currently provide.

The requirements of the Act will take effect from April 2024. The aims of the Act are to enable safe and high quality care and improved outcomes for people experiencing health care or social care services through the provision of appropriate staffing. This requires the right people, in the right place, with the right skills, at the right time.

Safe staffing advisers Candice and Joanne

Download our poster to share with your staff and people who use your service.

Poster for ELC services

 

Daycare of children

Part 1 of the Act details the guiding principles which underpin the outcomes that the Act is seeking to deliver. Below is a list of principles of the Act which need to be read in context of achieving the overarching outcome of safe and high-quality services and ensuring the best care outcomes for children. No one principle is more important than another and they should all be considered together when determining staffing. Included for each principle is information from the statutory guidance to provide further detail.

  1. Improving standards and outcomes for children
  2. Taking account of the particular needs, abilities, characteristics and circumstances of different children
  3. Respecting the dignity and rights of children
  4. Taking account of the views of staff and people who use the service
  5. Ensuring the wellbeing of staff
  6. Being open with staff and people who use the service about decisions and staffing
  7. Allocating staff efficiently and effectively 
  8. Promoting multi-disciplinary services as appropriate

Part 3 of the Act details the duty on care service providers to ensure appropriate staffing and sets out expectations for the training of staff. Below is information from the statutory guidance to provide further details. There are links to documents you may consider to support you to meet the requirements of this part of the Act.

Statutory guidance chapter 15.20 

What is meant by 'suitably qualified and competent individuals are working in such numbers as are appropriate for…'?  

This provision is intended to ensure there are sufficient staff providing care, with the appropriate knowledge, skills and competence to meet the needs of people experiencing care.  

Care service providers should be able to demonstrate clearly that they have considered the levels of practice, training, education, experience and professional regulatory responsibilities of all of the staff within a team providing care.  

Statutory guidance chapter 15.22  

What is meant by 'the provision of safe and high-quality care'?  

When judging whether or not a service is 'safe', safe does not mean 'no-risk'. Depending on the service, safe may not even mean low risk. Risk enablement is important and risks are an inevitable part of most care services.  Positive risks, as defined in the Health and Social Care Standards sections 2.24 and 2.25 means making balanced decisions about risks and risk management and recognising that risks to safety are inevitable and can sometimes result in benefits.  However, people experiencing care should not be put at unnecessary risk as a result of staffing which fails to provide high-quality care services.  

Provision of high-quality care requires the right people, in the right place, with the right skills at the right time, with the appropriate amount of time available, reflecting individual care needs, to ensure the best care outcomes for those experiencing care.  

High quality care should include consideration of the dignity and respect of the person experiencing care, including respect and promotion for their human rights; compassionate care and support; inclusion in care of those using the service, along with their carers and representatives as appropriate; responsive care which adapts to the needs of the person; and care which improves wellbeing. 

Documents you may consider: 

 

Childminding

Part 1 of the Act details the guiding principles which underpin the outcomes that the Act is seeking to deliver. Below is a list of principles of the Act which need to be read in context of achieving the overarching outcome of safe and high-quality services and ensuring the best care outcomes for children. No one principle is more important than another and they should all be considered together when determining staffing. Included for each principle is information from the statutory guidance to provide further detail.

  1. Improving children's outcomes
  2. Meeting children's individual needs and enabling them to fulfil their own potential
  3. Respecting children's dignity and rights
  4. Taking children's views into account (and assistants if applicable)
  5. Looking after your own wellbeing (and assistants if applicable)
  6. Open communication with children about decisions on care arrangements (and assistants if applicable)
  7. Recognising what I can accomplish as a sole provider and managing my time (and assistants if applicable)
  8. Building relationships and working with other agencies to support children and families in my care

Part 3 of the Act details the duty on care service providers to ensure appropriate staffing and sets out expectations for the training of staff. Below is information from the statutory guidance to provide further details. There are links to documents you may consider to support you to meet the requirements of this part of the Act. 

Statutory guidance chapter 15.20 

What is meant by 'suitably qualified and competent individuals are working in such numbers as are appropriate for…'?  

This provision is intended to ensure there are sufficient staff providing care, with the appropriate knowledge, skills and competence to meet the needs of people experiencing care.  

Care service providers should be able to demonstrate clearly that they have considered the levels of practice, training, education, experience and professional regulatory responsibilities of all of the staff within a team providing care.  

Statutory guidance chapter 15.22  

What is meant by 'the provision of safe and high-quality care'?  

When judging whether or not a service is 'safe', safe does not mean 'no-risk'. Depending on the service, safe may not even mean low risk. Risk enablement is important and risks are an inevitable part of most care services. Positive risks, as defined in the Health and Social Care Standards sections 2.24 and 2.25 means making balanced decisions about risks and risk management and recognising that risks to safety are inevitable and can sometimes result in benefits. However, people experiencing care should not be put at unnecessary risk as a result of staffing which fails to provide high-quality care services.  

Provision of high-quality care requires the right people, in the right place, with the right skills at the right time, with the appropriate amount of time available, reflecting individual care needs, to ensure the best care outcomes for those experiencing care.  

High quality care should include consideration of the dignity and respect of the person experiencing care, including respect and promotion for their human rights; compassionate care and support; inclusion in care of those using the service, along with their carers and representatives as appropriate; responsive care which adapts to the needs of the person; and care which improves wellbeing. 

Documents you may consider: 

Quick guides

We will be producing a series of quick guides to help you understand your responsibilities towards the Act.  We will let you know once these are available. 

Upcoming events

  • Regional countdown events across Scotland

    Our Safe Staffing Programme invite you to register for one of our regional countdown events on the implementation of the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019 being enacted on 1 April 2024.

    Each session will last two hours and will give you the opportunity to learn more about the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019. 

    Please see details here for venue, dates and start times for your service type.

    Tea and coffee will be provided.

    Find out more about these sessions and register to attend. 

     

  • We will be presenting to individual local authorities and private providers over the next few months.

  • We will be supporting the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) spring 2024 conference.  Further information will be made available on their website.

 

 

Webinars

Webinar 1 for childminding services on 17 January 2024

Presentation slides

Webinar 2 for childminding services on 29 January 2024

Presentation slides

Webinar 3 for childminding services on 7 February 2024

Webinar 1 for ELC services on 17 January 2024

Presentation slides

Webinar 2 for ELC services on 24 January 2024

Presentation slides

Webinar 3 for ELC services on 31 January 2024

Presentation slides

Get involved

 

To keep up-to-date with the enactment and to get the most out of our resources, please sign up to our mailing list.   

 

Sign up to our mailing list

You can also email our Programme Team with any queries you may have. 

Joanne or Candice will be happy to help.

safestaffingproject@careinspectorate.gov.scot
Tell us about your strengths, challenges and aspirations related to the guiding principles of the Act. This anonymous information will be shared with the wider sector to support reflective practice and continuous improvement through word clouds.  These will be updated regularly to reflect new insights. Wordcloud poll

Please see word clouds below which have been developed based on the most recent responses from the sector. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to these.

Strengths wordcloud

 

Challenges wordcloud

 

Aspirations wordcloud

Useful Links

Safe Staffing Programme

Supporting care services to prepare for enactment of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019

Safe Staffing: Webinar series for early learning and childcare services

Within the early learning and childcare (ELC) sector, the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 places duties on care service providers for daycare of children services and childminders. This webinar series will be relevant to anyone working in the ELC sector, such as staff, managers, and senior management teams.

Safe staffing: Regional Countdown Events

Our Safe Staffing Programme invite you to register for one of our regional countdown events on the implementation of the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019 being enacted on 1 April 2024. Each session will last two hours and will give you the opportunity to learn more about the Health and Care Staffing Scotland Act 2019.