Operational Aspects

Over the course of a year all managers have many responsibilities to lead on or to support within ELC, some aspects are included here (not in order of any priority):

Signing In and Out

There should be a rigorous and robust system to ensure staff know where every child is meant to be at arrival, during the session and at departure. A careful record of attendance should be kept for each child. Staff should be aware of who will be collecting children each day and a record kept of this. Parents should be contacted if another adult arrives to collect the child.

Allocating Key workers

Ensure that the key worker roles are allocated to take attendance patterns into account e.g. make sure the key worker is there when the child is there.

Service Development Time (for Local Authority settings)

The SDT allocation is 4 hours per 10 children, to be rounded up. However, this should not exceed the number on the Care Inspectorate registration certificate. This allocation is worked out from enrolment figures in February.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessments should be carried out on an ongoing basis throughout the year and should be read, signed and dated by staff.  The whole nursery risk assessment should be updated at least annually or as required. 

Local Authority Settings should refer to the Exemplar below for details of ELC Risk Assessment training and for reference when updating their own Risk Assessments.

ELC and OSC Risk Assessment Guidance and Exemplar

Fire Drill

Practice and record the fire drill at least once a term ensuring all children have the opportunity to participate as per Highland Council guidance for Local Authority settings.

ELC Accident/Incident

This ELC Accident/Incident Form and guidance notes have been approved by Care Inspectorate and Highland Council and can be used in ELC settings. However, there is no need to use them if your setting’s current format records all the required information. Accident and incident forms should be audited regularly to identify any patterns that require further action.

Accident/Incident Form     

Guidance For Completing ELC Accident/Incident Form 

Personal Care Plans/Being me

Each child must have a Personal Care Plan reflecting their current care needs, as is legally required. Care Inspectorate guidance on personal planning can be found here. ELC Highland have created ‘Being Me’ and this personal care plan document can be found under Personalised Support Personal Care Plans along with guidance information. ‘Being Me’ Should be completed and stored as stated in the guidance. There should be systems in place to ensure relevant information is shared when appropriate with all staff to provide continuity of care and learning.


Funding for milk and healthy snack is provided by the Scottish Milk and Health Snack Scheme through the Local Authority. Please remember you can only claim for children under the age of 5 years.

Money for the provision of food and drink in ELC settings is provided by Highland Council, included within capitation for Local Authority settings and Partner Centre payments for partners. See The National Standard Funding Follows The Child and The National Standard For Early Learning and Childcare Providers: Operating Guidance, p40-41 regarding charging for snack.   Operating Guidance National Standard                           Further Highland Council guidance to follow.

For Local Authority settings all foodstuffs should be bought through procurement unless it is specifically related to a curricular development.

It is not always necessary to provide children who have allergies with an exact replacement snack as a different alternative may be provided. See The National Standard Funding Follows The Child and The National Standard For Early Learning and Childcare Providers: Operating Guidance, p42-43 regarding food.

Food Hygiene

Only practitioners holding an elementary Food Hygiene Certificate may handle food or prepare snack.


Capitation monies for Local Authority settings are allocated on an annual basis and this is based on the number of children attending the setting taken from the January census return.

For Local Authority settings children’s details should be entered on SEEMiS after enrolment is completed. This information may be accessed to calculate payments due from families where a child attends some ELC provision as agreed from the week after their third birthday but before they are entitled to a funded place (September – February birthdays only). However, where entitled children do not take up their 2-year-old provision, they are able to access ELC from the first week after their third birthday at no cost until their funded place becomes available.


Updated enrolment guidelines are issued each year as necessary and the date of pre-school enrolment is usually the week after P1 enrolment.

The enrolment guidance also gives information around allocation of places, funded and non-funded places and deferred entry.

Enrolment files and guidance

Enrol your child for early learning and childcare


Policies can be accessed on the ELC Blog and should be reviewed regularly. These should be personalised for each setting and read, signed and dated on an ongoing annual basis.  As far as possible, ELC policies should be in line with school policies in Local Authority settings.

Lone Worker

Any staff working in a lone worker capacity please refer to:

Policy and guidance on managing the risks of lone working

Learning and Development Training Course


A regular review of medication should take place following the policy.

Administration of Medication in Early Learning and Childcare Settings

Duty of Candour

You should be aware of the requirements around Duty of Candour and the associated annual report.  

Working arrangements

Most Early Years Practitioners are paid over 40 weeks.  This is made up of 38 weeks when the children are in attendance; 1 week’s worth of INSET days and 1 week for parent meetings, preparation, development work etc.

It is good practice to plan and agree the use of the wk 39 and wk 40 time with the ELC team at the start of the session in line with the improvement priorities for that session.

Management Time in ELC

Local Authority Managers should use their dedicated ELC Management Time to support aspects of ELC provision.


For details of the roles within your local area team please see here

For individual contact details please contact your area office.

Supporting Documents

To keep up to date with current best practice documents and guidance please refer to:

Health and Social Care Standards  

Knowledge Hub  – register with the hub> select groups>children >0-5 and request to join Early Learning and Childcare Scotland

ELC Highland Blog

Care Inspectorate Hub

National Standard

Realising the Ambition