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30/01/20 10:38

Learning in STEM in early years

New online module launched to support staff development.

Early learning and childcare (ELC) staff are receiving new help to inspire young children in science and maths.

A new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning package, developed in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland, provides multi-media resources and activities for staff to help babies and children to develop curiosity in the world around them.

It is the first in a suite of free continuous professional learning modules being rolled out as part of a drive to increase the quality of early learning and childcare services, ahead of the near doubling of childcare entitlement from this August.

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said:

“ELC settings are already great at inspiring and developing children’s curiosity in the world around us. This module showcases some of the brilliant learning in STEM happening and supports practitioners to give children the highest quality learning in these topics.

“While nearly doubling the entitlement to funded early learning and childcare for parents, we are also providing continuous professional learning for staff to ensure skills and knowledge are up to date and follow best practice.”

Background

The launch of this module helps to deliver one of the actions in the ELC Quality Action Plan and in the STEM Education and Training Strategy to develop a coherent national approach to STEM professional learning, which includes an online professional learning offer for early learning and childcare practitioners.

A link to the module will be made available in the National Induction Resource on the Scottish Social Services Council website. More modules will be phased in over the course of the next few months.

From August, all three and four-year-olds, and around a quarter of two-year-olds, will benefit from 1,140 hours of childcare a year - the most generous offer in the UK. Backed by an unprecedented £2 billion investment, there is no cost to families who take up the offer so the 1,140 hours can save each family as much as £4,500.