Voice Scotland calls for national pay and conditions for early years professionals

Date: 10.10.17
Comment on the promises of "unmatched childcare" in Nicola Sturgeon’s party conference speech.

News release: 10 October 2017

Voice Scotland calls on Scottish Government to introduce national pay and conditions for early years professionals

Commenting on the promises of "unmatched childcare" in First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s party conference speech today (10 October 2017), Dougie Atkinson, Senior Professional Officer with Voice Scotland, which represents early years and childcare professionals, said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to, and investment in, early learning and childcare.

“However, expansion can only take place if enough early years and childcare professionals can be recruited and retained in the workforce.

“Early years professionals’ salaries do not reflect their skills and responsibilities and the demands of their work. Also, many employers rely on the goodwill of staff to work unpaid overtime.

“Voice Scotland calls on the Scottish Government to introduce a national pay and conditions framework and career structure for early years and childcare professionals. 

“A national pay scale was recommended as part of the independent review of the early learning and out of school care workforce. National terms and conditions, including pay scales, are already well established for teachers.

“Implementing a national pay and conditions framework would help to improve the perception of careers within early years and make it more attractive to a wider range of potential candidates, including attracting more men to take up a career in the sector.

“It would also help to introduce consistency in terms of quality of delivery and accountability for provision.

“There is an eyewatering disparity in staff pay between public and private sector provision. Such a disparity is not sustainable if we want all children to enjoy a quality pre-school experience, rather than a postcode-lottery system.

“Appropriate CPD [continuing professional development] opportunities must also be made available, as well as sufficient staff numbers to enable individuals to be released to undertake such training.

“There is currently little or no incentive to invest, financially or emotionally, in qualifications for a wage readily available in other low-paid jobs, which, unlike early learning and childcare, are low-skilled and low responsibility.

“Early years expansion can’t be done on the cheap. A bold vision need a bold commitment from the Scottish Government.”


Further information

Nicola Sturgeon's speech (SNP)

Scottish Government news

BBC News

Voice Scotland’s response to the Scottish Government’s consultation, A Blueprint for 2020: The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in ScotlandComment on the Voice Blog.


Contacts:

Voice Scotland
Email: scotland@voicetheunion.org.uk
Tel: 0131 220 8241

Voice Press Office
Email: pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk