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    Background

    Concern over nurseries “workforce crisis”

    Written by on August 7, 2019

    A new report claims there’s a workforce crisis in Scotland’s private and voluntary nurseries.

    From next August, children in the Forth Valley – and across Scotland – will be entitled to 1,140 hours of free pre-school education.

    But the National Day Nurseries Association say providers are finding it tough to recruit and retain staff.

    Back in March, opposition parties at Holyrood voted for their concerns about the implementation to be addressed by ministers.

    Scottish Labour have described this latest report, as a “wake-up call” for the Scottish Government.

    Purnima Tanuku, the National Day Nurseries Association chief executive, said: “The results of our research paint a grim picture, with 71% of employers telling us they have problems recruiting staff at practitioner level.

    “A further 62% have significant challenges retaining their existing staff who are leaving for higher salaries in schools and council-run nurseries.

    “On the funding rates partner providers get from councils, they cannot hope to compete with the salaries on offer for the same roles.

    “Working parents value the flexibility that private and third sector nurseries, open all year round, can give them. This choice must not be compromised.”

    Children’s Minister Maree Todd said: “This survey represents less than a quarter of private sector nurseries.

    “We have increased training opportunities and routes into the sector, alongside our recruitment campaigns, and enabled providers to advertise for free on the campaign site.

    “As a result, there are more people than ever before working in early learning and childcare, with a 40,000-strong workforce.”