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Extra funding to diversify early learning and childcare workforce

Image credit: Emily Goodstein

Extra funding to diversify early learning and childcare workforce

A £140,000 fund has been announced to help recruit more people from ethnic minorities into careers in early learning and childcare.

It comes as part of a wider programme to increase and diversify the early learning and childcare (ELC) workforce by recruiting more men, people with disabilities and those with language skills, as well as those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Minister for Children and Young People Maree said: “A skilled and diverse workforce is key to providing our children with high quality play and learning opportunities in their formative years.

“We are almost doubling the free provision of early learning and childcare from 600 hours per year to 1,140 hours.

“This gives us a great opportunity to increase the number of minority ethnic childcare staff and to create employment opportunities across the country.

“Working with children in these key early years of their development is incredibly rewarding and this is an exciting time to consider an ELC career.”

The two-year programme has been funded by the Scottish Government following the commitment to expand ELC.

Funded ELC is available to all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.

Currently, there are 600 free hours provided per year, but this will be increased to 1,140 hours by 2020.

It is estimated that up to 11,000 additional workers (up to 9,000 full time equivalents) are required to fulfil the needs of expanded ELC.

The Increasing Ethnic Minorities Within ELC Workforce Project will be delivered by CEMVO Scotland, which supports ethnic minority communities in Scotland, and will report quarterly to the Scottish Government on delivery of this project.

Colin Lee, Chief Executive of CEMVO Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to work towards increasing the ethnic diversity of the ELC workforce as this will not only help create a more culturally rich learning environment for children from across all backgrounds, but also will help create employment opportunities for ethnic minority communities that research shows experience higher rates of unemployment and poverty.”  

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