Second Call for Evidence for the Independent Review of Early Learning and Childcare Workforce and Out of School Care Workforce

Closed 30 Sep 2014

Opened 10 Jul 2014


This is the second of two consultations:

This second consultation is for individuals and settings and consists of two questionnaires: a) Early Learning and Childcare; and, b) Out of School Care. They will be online and available until the end of September 2014. 

The first consultation is for organisations and institutions and will also be available until the end of September 2014 at

Please note: you may complete one or both questionnaires here and also respond to the first consultation if you wish.

Professor Iram Siraj is chair of an Independent Review commissioned by the Scottish Government on Early Learning and Childcare Workforce and Out of school Care Workforce from March 2014 to April 2015.

Professor Siraj will engage with a wide range of stakeholders from across Scotland to gather views, perspectives and data for the Review.  In addition to these consultations, evidence will be gathered from a core reference group of experts, from focus groups, interviews and visits to early learning and childcare and out of schools care provision across the Country. Further, an in depth literature review on best training and qualifications to achieve quality early learning and childcare and out of school care together with analyses of relevant documents and reports will inform the Review.

Policy Context

  • The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 will deliver an increase in the funded entitlement to a minimum of 600 hours per year for 3 and 4 year olds, and 15% of 2 year olds, from August 2014.  There will be a further expansion from August 2015, meaning that 27% of 2 year olds will be entitled to 600 hours of funded provision.
  • The Act is also setting the stage for further expansion to meet the Scottish Government’s wider ambitions to develop a high quality, flexible system of early learning and childcare that meets the needs of all children, parents and families.  This includes a requirement on local authorities to consult parents on their needs in relation to all early learning and childcare and out of school care which they have duties or powers to deliver or support; and, not just the statutory entitlement to provide a degree of choice and flexibility over the funded entitlement to 600 hours.
  • The Scottish Government’s White Paper, “Scotland’s Future”, sets out an ambitious programme to further expand high quality early learning and childcare for children aged 1-5 in the longer term. 
  • A significantly expanded and qualified workforce will be vital to deliver the improved and expanded system of childcare outlined in the White Paper.  It is estimated that an expansion to 1,140 hours, as set out in “Scotland’s Future”, will require around 35,000 additional staff in nurseries and early years centres.  This represents double the number currently working within these settings.
  • The last National Review of Early Years Workforce in Scotland took place in 2006.  Since then, there have been major advances, particularly in the field of neuroscience, highlighting the importance of the earliest years of a child’s life in terms of influencing their future outcomes cognitively, socially, emotionally and behaviourally. 
  • The Early Years Framework, published jointly by Scottish Government and COSLA in 2008, sets out the case for early intervention, and sets the strategic direction for early years policy in Scotland.
  • The Scottish Government wants to see a significant shift to preventative spend in the early years and has set up an Early Years Taskforce to lead the drive to preventative spend at a national level. 
  • This is supported by the establishment of a £274.25 million Early Years Change Fund over this Parliamentary term and by the establishment of an Early Years Collaborative from November 2012.
  • Given the significantly changed landscape in early years since 2006, it is timely to undertake a new Review to look at a range of issues relating to recruitment, training, skills and qualifications, career progression and status of the workforce.

Why your views matter

To identify and make recommendations on how the skills, qualifications and training of staff working within the early learning and childcare and out of school care sectors, from birth to age 14, can contribute to improved outcomes for children, help to reduce social inequality and close the attainment gap, based on the evidence gathered in the course of the Review and wider research evidence.

This Review will look at a number of key areas:

  • Skills, training and qualifications of the early learning and childcare workforce, including teachers, Childhood Practitioners and all other levels of the  workforce
  • Recruitment and retention in the workforce, to ensure the right people are attracted to working in the sector
  • Career Pathways, including continual professional development pathways, to ensure that staff are encouraged to progress their careers within that sector
  • Status of Early Learning and Childcare Workforce, in recognition that working with young children is vitally important work, and should be valued as such
  • Workforce Planning, to identify the steps needed to grow the early learning and childcare workforce over the next decade, including consideration of the level of qualifications and training that should be aimed for, to enable a significant expansion of high quality provision in this timescale.
  • Status, skills, training and qualifications of the out of school care workforce.

What happens next

A second consultation will follow and is for individuals and settings and will consist of two questionnaires which are currently being developed: a) Early Learning and Childcare; and, b) Out of School Care. They will be online shortly after mid June 2014 until the end of September 2014.

The findings of the Review will be published in Spring 2015.