Opinion Former Article

Early years professionals need more than Living Wage for pay to be “fair”

Voice Scotland has welcomed the First Minister’s announcement that ‘Scotland’s early learning and childcare (ELC) expansion plans will be built on a foundation of fairness and equality’ and that ‘by the end of this parliament, 8,000 existing and all additional childcare staff will be paid at least the Living Wage as part of the expansion to 1,140 hours’, but warned that this this not enough to retain and recruit early years and childcare professionals.

Professional Officer (Scotland) Dougie Atkinson said:

“We welcome the First Minister’s commitment to fairness and improving pay and conditions, but this is a low pay sector that relies on the goodwill and dedication of the underpaid professionals who work in it.

“Early years professionals deserve much more than the Living Wage, which does not reflect the skills and responsibilities of  early years professionals, especially given the aspirations that Scottish Government has for qualifications to be held by the workforce.

“Terms and conditions, especially pay, in the early years sector are a major barrier to the successful expansion of the service.

“We are calling for a national pay and conditions framework for early years professionals.

“This would help to level the playing field that sees such discrepancies in pay for workers in the sector.

“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.

“Expansion cannot take place without sufficient funding to ensure the recruitment and retention of high quality early years and childcare professionals.”

Further information

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


Voice Press Office (pressoffice@voicetheunion.org.uk) on 01332 372337 or Voice Scotland (scotland@voicetheunion.org.uk) on 0131 220 8241.
Voice Scotland

1-3 St. Colme Street, Edinburgh EH3 6AA
Email: scotland@voicetheunion.org.uk
Tel: 0131 220 8241

web : www.voicetheunion.org.uk/scotland

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