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02/01/14 10:20

Transforming childcare

£460,000 funding to provide more than 200 training and development opportunities.

More than 200 training and development opportunities are being created as part of moves to transform pre-school education and care across Scotland.

Education Secretary Michael Russell announced the £460,000 Scottish Government investment in a range of post-graduate and professional development places.

The funding is part of the Scottish Government’s on-going work to meet the needs of the workforce for continuous professional development alongside the significant expansion in childcare.

Mr 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.”

Notes to editors

The funding will offer places in postgraduate and professional training:

  • 72 postgraduate places at Aberdeen University in Early Education for teachers and Childhood Practitioner graduates.
  • 60 postgraduate places at Strathclyde University in Early Education for teachers and honours degrees for Childhood practice graduates.
  • Approximately 100 additional Professional Development Awards to Childhood Practice students.
  • 20 Childhood Practitioners to becomes mentors to undergraduates.