Early Learning and Childcare Expansion: Delivering the Workforce

At this event we explore the current status of the early years’ workforce and share excellent practice already in place to recruit and retain staff. In doing so, we will examine how to deliver the additional 11,000 staff needed to realise the Scottish Government’s policy of almost doubling the funded early learning and childcare (ELC) entitlement from August 2020.

'On target to deliver the required workforce'?

An Audit Scotland report of February 2018 concluded that there are ‘significant risks that councils will not be able to expand funded ELC to 1,140 hours by 2020’. It cited workforce levels underlying this challenge and argued that the Scottish Government ‘should have started detailed planning with councils earlier’.

Since the publication of that report, private nurseries have reported a ‘haemorrhaging’ of staff to local authority nurseries and the Scottish Government’s overall figures show that they missed their recruitment target by 300 by December 2018.

Yet despite these difficulties, the Scottish Government maintains that it is ‘on target to deliver the required workforce’.

This is the second in a series of two events that focus on the 1140 roll-out. It is your opportunity to learn about what the Scottish Government is doing to address the workforce challenge and make your voice heard on the issues that matter to you.

A year out from the 2020 expansion of ELC provision, join us as we consider how to deliver on this ambitious and challenging transformation programme.    

Why come to this event? 

  • Hear from outstanding experts and policymakers involved in ELC
  • Your chance to question the people that matter
  • Join the conversation in an interactive roundtable discussion
  • Discuss how we can promote leadership in the early years
  • Discover innovative practices on developing and training new and existing staff
  • Network with other people involved in ELC and share creative approaches to tackling the recruitment and retention challenge  

Who should attend?

  • Nursery managers/providers
  • Local authority professionals working with children and young people 
  • Elected representatives with an interest in education and children's services 
  • Academics interested in early years
  • Professionals interested in early learning and childcare


09:45 Registration and Refreshments

10:25 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair

10:30 Session 1: Facing the Challenge 

  • Finding 11,000 new staff
  • The funding model 
  • An ambitious timeframe

10:30 Dr Niamh O'Connor, Head of Early Learning and Childcare Quality Unit, Scottish Government 

11:00 Speaker to be confirmed, National Day Nurseries Association 

11:30 Q&A

11:40 Refreshments and Networking 

12:00 Session 2: Expanding the Early Years' Workforce 

  • Approaches to recruitment
  • Embedding skills in the workforce
  • Innovative solutions for retaining staff 

12:00 Lorraine Thomson, Chair of Unison Scotland's Education Issues Group

12:30 Q&A

12:40 Interactive Roundtable Discussion

Delegates will lead the discussion to identify the particular challenges you are facing in recruiting and retaining staff. This is your opportunity to share good practice and obtain practical solutions to put in place when you return to your ELC setting. 

13:10 Event sponsor: Community Playthings

13:20 Lunch and Networking

14:00 Session 3: Delivering the 1140 expansion: balancing quantity and quality 

  • Ensuring there is quality as well as quantity  
  • The balance of formal and informal learning in the early years
  • Examples of good practice from across Scotland 

14:00 Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, Scottish Childminding Association 

14:30 Donna Murray, Senior Education Officer, City of Edinburgh Council  

15:00 Q&A

15:10 Chair’s Closing Remarks

15:15 Close of Event

*Agenda is subject to change

Our events are CPD Certified. This event is equivalent to 2 CPD point.
A certificate is available on request post-event to all attendees.




Central Edinburgh


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Reduced rate: 1 place £145 + VATpp (Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Standard rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Private Sector rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email enquiries@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1635

12 June 2019
Central Edinburgh
United Kingdom



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