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National Review of The Early Years and Childcare Workforce


At the first meeting of the Steering Group held on Friday 2 July 2004 the remit and proposed workplan was outlined to the group. The context for the review would be set against the ministerial priorities around children's services and the new vision statement that governs all work with children and young people.

Ministers' Vision for Children and Young People

This describes Minister's vision of the outcomes of services for children and young people.

  • Safe: Children and young people should be protected from abuse, neglect and harm by others at home, at school and in the community.

  • Valued: Children and young people should live within a supportive family setting, with additional assistance if required, or, where this is not possible, within another caring setting, ensuring a positive and rewarding childhood experience.

  • Healthy: Children and young people should enjoy the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health, with access to suitable healthcare and support for safe and healthy lifestyle choices.

  • Achieving: Children and young people should have access to positive learning environments and opportunities to develop their skills, confidence and self esteem to the fullest potential.

  • Active: Children and young people should be active with opportunities and encouragement to participate in play and recreation, including sport.

  • Respected & Responsible: Children, young people and their carers should be involved in decisions that affect them, should have their voices heard and should be encouraged to play an active and responsible role in their communities.

  • Included: Children, young people and their families should have access to high quality services, when required, and should be assisted to overcome the social, educational, physical, environmental and economic barriers that create inequality.


Remit & Workplan


The Remit announced on 9 June by the Minister for Education and Young People as to:

  • Examine and define the role and responsibilities of staff in the early years, childcare and play workforce;
  • Determine an approach to national workforce planning;
  • Rationalise and modernise early years/childcare qualifications, ensuring that they are appropriate for the different sectors of the workforce;
  • Develop vertical and lateral career pathways which provide for progression within a chosen area and lateral movement between different sectors of the workforce;
  • Consider the implication of these considerations for pay and conditions.

It is also stated that, although the Review may comment on pay and conditions, these remain matters for employers.

The Review's recommendations will have to take into account current levels of resources and planned spending following the outcome of this years spending review. The review should also reflect the interests of the different sectors which provide childcare and early years services, including the private, voluntary and social economy sector and self-employed individuals.

Outcomes of the Review

The Review aims to consolidate, strengthen and shape the future of early years and childcare employment, ensuring it meets the needs of children, families and staff. The outcomes of the Review should improve employment opportunities for early years, childcare and playwork staff and raise the status of the sector.


The following proposal describes a work plan for the Review. It is simply a proposal. The Steering Group is asked to consider the proposals and agree a plan for how it wants to take its work forward.


The remit provides a clear indication of what needs to be considered by the Review. The proposed plan sets out 4 workstreams with an overarching area of work on defining roles and responsibilities.

Members of Roles and Responsibilities Working Group

Frances Scott Scottish Social Services Council (Chair)
Rosemary Milne One Stop Childcare
Peter Hay COSLA
Cllr Charles Gray COSLA
Fiona Bennett Barnardos
Carol A Ball UNISON
Barbara Thomas representing Parent's views
Christine Riach Dundee City Council, Education Department
Val Cox Scottish Executive
Penny Curtis Scottish Executive
David Purdie Scottish Executive

The Roles and Responsibilities group have met on three occassions and will submit their draft framework to the next steering group meeting on 26 November 2004. The framework identifies the roles and responsibilities at Lead practitioner/Manager/Practitioner and Support Worker levels (these are the categories of workers identified by the Scottish Social Services Council for the Early Years and Childcare Workforce Registration and Regulation) set against the vision for children. For example, the draft framework sets out the roles and responsibilities required by the three categories of staff to ensure a child is safe etc.

The draft framework will also inform the workstreams and help develop their thinking.

Work Streams

We propose that the Review should consider 4 work streams which would report back to the Steering Group. They could encompass the following issues but the Steering Group will want to consider what issues should be covered:

  • Qualifications and Training (including pre-service and continuing professional development)

    • Skills and competences
    • Entry level qualifications (perhaps common across the sector)
    • Specialised qualifications
    • Rationalisation of exisiting qualifications
    • Occupational Standards

  • Career Pathways

    • Lateral movement between jobs
    • Progression

  • Recruitment and Retention

    • Status
    • Targeted recruitment
    • Impact on pay and conditions
    • Impact on public, voluntary, private and social economy sectors

  • Workforce Planning

    • Impact of demographics (numbers of children and workforce and population movement)
    • Impact of the rest of the "social care" workforce and other parts of the children's services workforce
    • Sustainability e.g. rural areas


Members of Recruitment and Retention Working Group

Carol A Ball UNISON
Fiona Bennett Barnardos
Barbara Thomas representing Parent's views
Cllr Charles Gray COSLA
Patricia McGinty SINA

This gorup will meet for the first time on 7th December 2004 and will report back to the next meeting of the Steering Group, date to be arranged.

The other work streams will also be meeting during late November/early December and report back to the Steering Group.





Steering Group Members
Mrs Patricia McGinty SINA
Ms Rosemary Milne One Stop Childcare
Ms Christine Riach Dundee City Council
Ms Frances Scott Scottish Social Services Council
Mr Neil Robertson Scottish Qualification Authority
Ms Carol A Ball UNISON
Ms Fiona Bennett Barnardos
Ms Barbara Thomas Parents representative
Ms Susan Bain Association of Quality Nurseries Scotland
Ms Eleanor Pollock West Dunbartonshire - Head of Centre
Dr Bronwyn Cohen Children in Scotland
Cllr Charles Gray COSLA
Mr Peter Hay COSLA
Ms Joan Beattie Skills Active
Val Cox Scottish Executive
Penny Curtis Scottish Executive
David Purdie Scottish Executive
Colin MacLean Scottish Executive (Chair)
Jane Polglase Association of Scottish Colleges