Bright Start School Age Childcare (SAC) Grant Scheme – Interim Evaluation

Date published: 18 March 2020

The Bright Start SAC Grant Scheme is a pilot initiative taken forward as part of the first phase of the Executive’s Childcare Strategy.  The Report, produced by Morrow Gilchrist Associates, is an interim evaluation carried out in 2016 on the performance of the Scheme at that stage.

The interim evaluation was conducted towards the end of the second year of the operation of the Scheme to review data from all three calls for applications to assess the extent to which the SAC Grant Scheme has delivered or can, in the future, deliver the envisaged numbers of new childcare places and new childcare settings.

The findings from this report relate to monitoring data available during April and May 2016 from Rounds 1 and 2 of the Grant Scheme and prior to implementation of successful applications in Round 3. 

The findings and recommendations will be considered by the Education Minister alongside the responses to the 2015 consultation on the Draft Childcare Strategy, the developments in extended early education and care offers in other jurisdictions since 2017 and in the context of the support available to parents through the UK wide tax and benefits systems.

The interim evaluation focuses on the early stages of the Bright Start pilot. Subsequent lessons learned and reviews will be taken into consideration in developing revised actions, including the potential for a revised Grant Scheme, as part of the finalised Ten Year Childcare Strategy for Executive consideration.


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