Scottish Government provides £460,000 for extra early years training

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Childcare training in Scotland is receiving a £460,000 boost from the Scottish government for post-graduate and professional development places.

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This will fund extra opportunities for early years training for teachers and for Professional Development Awards for Childhood Practice students.

The move comes as the Scottish Government expands the pre-school entitlement for three- and four-year-olds and the most vulnerable two-year-olds to 600 hours a year from the autumn, through the Children and Young People Bill.

If Scotland votes yes to independence in next year’s referendum, the government has pledged to offer 1,140 hours to all children from the age of one, which would mean almost doubling the current workforce.

The extra funding for training includes:

  • 72 post-graduate places in early years education for teachers and Childhood Practice graduates at Aberdeen University
  • 60 post-graduate places at Strathclyde University
  • Around 100 additional Professional Development Awards for Childhood Practice students
  • 20 Childhood Practitioners to become mentors to undergraduates.

Since 1 December 2011, managers and lead practitioners in daycare services in Scotland have been required to have a qualification at SCQF level 9, including a BA in Childhood Practice or Professional Development Award in Childhood Practice, or a post-graduate diploma, for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council.
Education secretary Michael Russell said, ‘High-quality learning and childcare benefits families, children and their communities. And by giving parents new opportunities to return to work, boosting family incomes, it supports sustainable, economic growth. That’s why we are building on our 2007 expansion of the pre-school entitlement – working to increase funded early learning and childcare for three and four-year-olds, and the most vulnerable two-year-olds, to 600 hours each year from the autumn, through the Children and Young People Bill.

‘We have also set out our ambition, if the Scottish Parliament gains full control of Scotland’s finances following a yes vote in next year’s referendum, to offer 1,140 hours to all children from the age of one. Our White Paper, Scotland’s Future, outlines how this would lead to an increase of up to 35,000 additional jobs in nurseries and early years centres – almost double the current workforce.

’I’m determined to ensure the development of the workforce can match the scale of our ambition and we will say more about this in the new year. As a first step, we are immediately investing in more than 200 new opportunities in early years training for teachers, and in Professional Development Awards for Childhood Practitioners.

‘By boosting skills, ensuring high quality and recognising the value of those we entrust to give our kids the best start in life, we can also attract the brightest and best to take up the jobs created by our expansion of childcare. And by pursuing a shared vision we can secure the foundations for Scotland’s future as the best place to grow up.’