Early years workforce expansion

£1.5 million for more nursery teachers and graduates in deprived areas.

More teachers and graduates are to be recruited for nurseries in deprived areas in Scotland through a £1.5 million investment to expand early learning and childcare, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

An extra 435 graduates will be in place by 2018, with every local authority area set to increase their nursery staff numbers.

The funding is the first step towards realising the commitment to ensure nurseries in the most deprived areas benefit from an additional graduate by 2018 – either a teacher with early years expertise or a graduate practitioner with the BA Childhood Practice award.

Making the announcement while visiting the nursery at Gorebridge Primary School, the First Minister said:

“Increasing the number of teachers and graduates in nurseries is absolutely crucial to tackling the attainment gap right from the start of a child’s education.

“We all recognise the importance of high quality early learning and childcare to the development of our young people, and access to the right staff with the right expertise is key to this.

“By providing the best possible start in life we can ensure our young people develop the skills and confidence they need to reach their full potential, we know this is particularly true for children who face the greatest disadvantage.

“That is why, as part of this commitment, we are investing £1.5 million in 2017-18 to train additional teachers and graduates. By targeting these additional resources in Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas we can improve attainment and make sure every child born in Scotland has an equal chance to succeed, regardless of their background.”

Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald said:

“This is an extremely exciting time for early learning and childcare as we take forward the most significant expansion ever seen in Scotland – almost doubling free provision to 1140 hours by 2020.

“During this expansion our priority is to ensure quality remains at the heart of the program and a diverse, highly skilled workforce is key to achieving this.

“We will work closely with local authorities to deliver this commitment in a way which maximises the number of children who will benefit.”

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