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ERIC Number: ED481935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1478-6788
The Sitter Service in Scotland: A Study of the Costs and Benefits. Insight.
Wilson, Valerie; Hall, Stuart; Rankin, Nicola; Davidson, Julia; Schad, Dominic
This report presents the findings of an examination of the costs, benefits, and characteristics of Sitter Services, a program in Scotland offering child care in the child's home to parents working atypical hours or respite care for families of children with developmental disabilities. The study also explored users' and providers' knowledge of the childcare component of the Working Tax Credit as a means for paying for child care. Information was collected through a literature review, discussions with Sitter Service personnel, visits to seven case study Sitter Services, and interviews with a sample of 31 users and a sample of 13 sitters in 6 services. Among the studys main findings was that of the seven out of nine sitter services in Scotland agreeing to participate, four provided child care at atypical hours to working families and three provided respite care to families of children with developmental disabilities. The 7 services employed 146 sitters. A total of 428 families were supported in the previous year by these services. Session lengths varied from 1 to 10 hours. Sitter services varied in location, size, experience, organization, and management. Services had established a variety of policies and procedures to guarantee the quality of their services. All services were heavily dependent upon grant income from a variety of funders. Costs varied widely across services, with staff salary and training costs being the major expenses. Three services made no direct charge to users; the remaining four made various charges. The majority of users thought the cost was affordable. The majority of fee-paying users also used the working tax credit. In a few cases, sitters were unpaid volunteers. A range of direct and indirect benefits to users, their families, sitters, and the wider community were identified. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications and notes that although the benefits far outweigh the costs of the service, further developments to meet demand are hindered by the lack of guaranteed funding. (KB)
Scottish Executive Education Department, Research, Economic & Corporate Strategy Unit, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ, Scotland. Tel: 0131-244-0092; Fax: 0131-244-5581; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Scottish Executive Education Dept., Edinburgh.
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)