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Date Tues 8 May 2012

Early years staff have vital role to play in children’s education, says UNISON

‘Early years staff have a vital role to play in children’s education’. That was the message from UNISON Scotland today ahead of a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s education committee in Edinburgh.

Carol Ball, a child development officer and chair of UNISON’s Education Issues Group, said: “The earliest years of a child’s life are crucial and, while we recognise that nursery teachers have a place in nurseries, the vital role that early years staff play in children’s education cannot be downplayed.

“Child development officers are fully-qualified, early years professionals – with equivalent qualifications and duties to nursery teachers – and deliver high quality early years education and childcare.

“The Scottish Parliament’s education committee must realise that early years’ education is delivered by a wide range of highly-trained professionals, not just nursery teachers, and must work with all staff involved to provide children with the best start in life.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

UNISON Scotland represent the vast majority of workers working with children in their early years: midwives; health visitors; community nurses; school nurses; nursery nurses, social workers and support staff in schools.

For more information on UNISON’s aims for early years’ education, please download a copy of our education manifesto at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/educationmanifesto.pdf

For more information contact:

· Carol Ball, chair of UNISON’s Education Issues Group, on 07803 952 263
· Trisha Hamilton, Communications Officer, on 0141 342 2877 or 07939 478 461

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