Standing Orders

DEFINITIONS

"Partnership" means the Western Isles Childcare Partnership.

"Confidential Information" means information pertaining to a particular employee of one of the Childcare Partners or information relating to the financial or business affairs of a particular person.

"Working group" means the Working Group of the Western Isles Childcare Partnership.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

The Partnership will:

  • Draw up and monitor the achievement of an Early Years and Early Intervention Strategy.
  • Bring together the different parties involved in Early Years Services in the Western Isles with the purpose of expanding and improving provision to meet demand.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE PARTNERSHIP

The membership of the Partnership will be drawn from the representatives of the public, private and voluntary sectors and parents who have an interest in Early Years provision in the Western Isles.

Each year at the AGM the Partnership shall agree those representatives who will serve on the Partnership for the coming year. Partners shall be asked to propose representatives prior to the AGM. A geographical balance of members shall be sought wherever possible.

The minimum number of Partnership members shall be 20. The maximum number of Partnership members shall be 25.

A member may be removed from the Partnership if he/she fails to attend three consecutive meetings.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTNERSHIP MEMBERS

Partnership members who are representing an organisation/sector are responsible for advising the Partnership as to pertinent issues and activities taking place in their organisation/sector.

Where a member of the Partnership has a pecuniary or other interest in a matter being discussed they should disclose that interest and either take no part in any debate on the matter or leave the room whilst the debate is taking place. The decision to declare an interest and take action is a matter for the Partnership member alone.

MEETINGS OF THE PARTNERSHIP

There shall be three ordinary meetings and an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Partnership each calendar year. The AGM will take place in June and a schedule of meetings for the coming year will be agreed at that meeting.

Special meetings of the Partnership can be convened subject to the approval of the Chair/Vice-chair.

Meetings of the Partnership will be scheduled to enable the full participation of the Partnership members.

Where possible, video conferencing facilities will be made available at each Partnership meeting.

The agenda for any Partnership meeting will be issued no later than one week prior to the meeting.

Meetings of the Early Years Partnership will be open to the public as observers. However, the public shall be excluded from the whole or part of the proceedings of the meeting during an item that, in the view of the Chair/Vice-chair, contains information which should be restricted to Partnership members only e.g. confidentiality.

ELECTION OF THE CHAIRPERSON

The term of office for the Chairperson and Vice-chairperson of the Partnership shall be for two years.

The Vice-chairperson of the Partnership will become the Chairperson of the Partnership following the term of office as Vice-chairperson.

The Vice-chair will call for nominations for a new Vice-chairperson prior to the AGM.

If contested, the election for Vice-chairperson will take the form of a secret ballot amongst those Partnership members present at the AGM.

Where possible the Chairperson and the Vice-chairperson shall be from different islands.

ROTATIONAL MEMBERSHIP

To ensure that the membership of some sectors have the opportunity to sit on the Partnership, representatives from the following groups will rotate every two years:

  1. Nursery/ Partner Provider/ Centre Representative
  2. Community Co-ordinator Representative

QUORUM

A quorum of the Partnership shall be five Partnership members, one of whom must be the Chair or Vice-chair.

DECISION MAKING

Whilst it is anticipated that most decisions will be reached by consensus, formal voting will be by a show of hands by those present at the meeting. Where there is an equality of votes for and against a proposal, the Chairperson will have a second or casting vote.

On the request of the majority of Partnership members present, a roll call vote or a ballot can be taken.

In exceptional circumstances the Chair/Vice-chair, in consultation with Comhairle officers or other members as appropriate may make decisions on behalf of the Partnership.

EXPENSES

Where appropriate, voluntary sector members travel, accommodation and childcare expenses incurred whilst attending meetings of the Early Years Partnership, will be reimbursed on the production of receipts.

SERVICING THE PARTNERSHIP

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will provide the following support to the Early Years Partnership:

  • convening and organising accommodation for meetings of the Partnership;
  • providing an officer to act as co-ordinator and secretariat to meetings;
  • providing guidance on procedures;
  • providing the information to facilitate the local childcare audit and the development of the Integrated Early Years Strategy;
  • facilitating consultation with local people;
  • disseminating information to parents and others;
  • providing general secretarial support.

WORKING GROUP

he Working Group of the Partnership will have delegated powers to determine issues relating to the implementation of policies approved by the Partnership. This will include operational and administrative matters.

Membership of this group will be for a maximum of four years with half of the members changing every two years.

The Working Group will comprise:

  • Chairperson (or Vice-chairperson) of the Partnership
  • Early Years Service Manager

The minimum number of Working Group members shall be 6.

The Quorum of this group will be 2 Partnership Members and 2 Comhairle representatives

FINANCIAL SUB GROUP

he Financial Sub Group of the Partnership will have delegated powers to make financial decisions and process grant applications in line with approved policies.
This group will meet quarterly and will consist of 5 members:

Chair/Vice Chair Western Isles Early Years Partnership.
CNES, Education and Children’s Services, Head of Education and Resources
CNES, Education and Children’s Services, Early Years Service Manager, CNES.
CNES, Education and Children’s Services Accountant
CNES, Education and Children’s Services Principal Officer, Education and Resources.

The Quorum of this group shall be 3 members.

TRAINING GROUP

The Training Group of the Partnership will identify demand for training and agree the training diary for each year.  This Group will have the Early Years Service Manager and representatives of each of the following types of Childcare provider:

  • Childminders
  • Pre-school Education (Gaelic and English)
  • All-day Care
  • Out of School Hours Care.

The Chair/Vice-chair, in consultation with the Early Years Service Manager, will select appropriate members for this group.  Members will represent childcare providers and may not be members of the Childcare Partnership.

Meetings will be held as and when required.

AD HOC WORKING GROUPS

The Chair/Vice-chair has the power to convene ad hoc working groups as and when necessary.