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Developing the early years workforce

Published: 4 Dec 2015 11:30
Part of:
Education

Staff key to early learning and childcare expansion.

The Scottish Government today published its response to Professor Iram Siraj's Independent Review of the Early Learning and Childcare and Out of School Care Workforce.

The response was published as the Children's Minister Aileen Campbell visited Hailesland Early Years Centre to meet a Modern Apprentice training to become an early years practitioner.

Among the 31 recommendations were:
• Children must have access to highly qualified staff with expertise in early learning
• Induction or pre-registration training should be a requirement for childminders
• Early years practitioners should be entitled to a living wage
• A strategic group should look at issues around quality and expansion of the workforce

Ms Campbell said:

"This is an exciting time for early learning and childcare, as we plan for the most significant expansion in provision ever seen in Scotland – from 600 hours a year to 1,140 by the end of the next parliament.

"We want children to have the highest quality care and the workforce is fundamental to this. That is why we commissioned an independent expert to review a range of issues from qualifications and training, to gender balance and pay.

"This government strongly supports the Living Wage campaign and encourages all organisations, regardless of size, sector and location, to ensure all staff receive a fair level of pay. I have visited a number of nurseries who already do this and we will continue to work with the sector to promote the benefits of the Living Wage and encourage more organisations to sign up to fair work practices.

"I look forward to working with the Workforce and Quality group and the newly formed Early Learning and Childcare Strategic Forum to help us develop our plans and ensure they are realistic, achievable and have high quality at their core."

Last month the First Minister announced that every nursery in Scotland's most deprived areas will have an additional qualified childcare graduate to work with children by 2018, to help children reach their full potential. She also announced that the Scottish Government will work with partners to strengthen induction and training pathways for childminders in recognition that they are a vital part of the workforce.

Notes to editors

The full response can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/People/Young-People/early-years/WorkforceReview

The review of the early learning and childcare and out of school care workforce was published in June and can be found here: www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/06/5902