Early Learning and Childcare Expansion: Developing 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 transformative policy of almost doubling the funded early learning and childcare (ELC) entitlement from August 2020.

Balancing quality and quantity 

An Audit Scotland report of February 2018 concluded that there are ‘significant risks that councils will not be able to expand funded ELC to 1140 hours by 2020’. It cited workforce levels underlying this challenge and argued that the Scottish Government ‘should have started detailed planning with councils earlier’.

Despite these challenges, there are already examples of excellent practice in developing the early years workforce that balances the quantity of staff with the quality we expect of our excellent early years sector. This event is an opportunity to learn from good practice to staff development in council-run nurseries, partner-provider settings, and childminding. 

A year out from 1140, join us as we explore what is being done to deliver on this ambitious and challenging transformative programme.    

Key issues we will address with you

  • Overview and update on 1140 
  • Formal and informal continual learning
  • Role of childminders in ELC
  • Balancing quality and quantity as childcare entitlement expands
  • The funding model
  • Good recruitment practices and supporting the wellbeing of early years staff 

Who should attend?

  • Senior staff in council-run and partner-provider nurseries 
  • Early years professionals 
  • Local authorities 
  • Elected representatives with an interest in education and children's services 


09:45 Registration and Refreshments

10:25 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair

Jenni Davidson, Journalist, Holyrood Magazine

10:30 Session 1: Facing the Challenge 

  • Expanding and Developing the Early Learning and Childcare wokforce for 2020

10:30 Expanding and Developing the Early Learning and Childcare Workforce for 2020

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

11:00 National Day Nurseries Association's Workforce Survey

Jonathan Broadbery, 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 Expanding Early Years Togther/Hearing the Workforce Voice

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 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 Quality for Whom? - Perspectives on 'quality' in the context of the Scottish ELC expansion 

Dr Lynn McNair OBE, Head of Cowgate Under Fives Centre and Teaching Fellow, University of Edinburgh
Luke Addison, Manager, Riverside Cottage Nursery and Tutor in Childhood Practice, University of Edinburgh

14:30 Developing the Childminding Workforce, ELC and Quality 

  • Developing the childminding workforce to support delivery of ELC
  • Capturing experience and recognition of prior learning
  • What does quality look like?

Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, Scottish Childminding Association 

15:00 Q&A

15:10 Chair’s Closing Remarks

Jenni Davidson, Journalist, Holyrood Magazine

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.


Speaker callout

We are committed to bringing the latest policy information with engaging dialogue and practical case studies to make a real impact in the public sector. If you are a knowledge expert in your field or have an inspiring case study which would make an impact to Public Sector organisations, we would love to hear from you. Please email craig.kelly@holyrood.com with your name and contact details, linkedin profile and a summary of your project or area or expertise and we will be in touch.


Whitespace, Norloch House, 36 King's Stables Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EU | Map


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



Share this page