New fund for pilot projects.
More men will be encouraged to undertake qualifications in early learning and childcare, through a new fund dedicated to increasing their numbers.
Colleges across Scotland will have the opportunity to bid for two funding awards to run pilot projects which support men in childcare. The £50,000 Men in Early Years Challenge Fund will aim to increase the number of men enrolling on NC and HNC Childhood Practice courses.
Currently, around 4% of the daycare of children workforce are male. Similarly, in 2016-17 4.18% of the enrolment of 1793 to HNC Childhood Practice were men.
Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd, announced the new fund while meeting with male practitioners at Highland Fling Nursery in Portobello. She said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for colleges to test out new ways of getting men into the early learning and childcare workforce, supporting our work to diversify the sector and recruit more people than ever to deliver quality early learning. Increasing the number of men in childcare means children will benefit from different perspectives and have more male role models to look up to.
“I’m delighted to have seen first-hand today the difference a diverse workforce can have on our children’s learning, bringing new ideas and approaches to learning and play.
“Our expansion of funded early learning and childcare will create thousands of high quality and well-paid jobs across Scotland. Working with children is rewarding, enjoyable and meaningful, and I urge men thinking of studying to consider a course in childcare.”
John Kemp, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), who will be facilitating the fund, said:
“Diversity and representation is vital to ensure caring is not seen exclusively as a female role, and that all children have access to positive male role models. This fund is designed to help address the current gender imbalance in the Early Learning and Childcare workforce, as one of the recommendations in SFC’s Gender Action Plan.
“Scotland’s colleges are uniquely positioned to have a positive impact on redressing the current gender imbalance in this workforce, and we look forward to receiving innovative bids from the sector.”
Patricia Chisholm, owner of Highland Fling nursery, said:
“Surely by 2018 we should have realised that an appropriate gender balance in a team of educators is vitally important to prepare children for the real world in which they will be living and working.”