Early years investment 'key to future'
Investing in the early years of a child's life - including in nursery teachers and early years professionals - will pay dividends for years to come, Children's Minister Adam Ingram said today.
Mr Ingram was responding to an HMIE report which highlighted the positive impact teachers and well-qualified professionals have in pre-school.
Mr Ingram said:
"I believe early years policy holds the key to building the Scotland we want for the future. That's why we're determined to ensure that all children have access to a nursery teacher and get the maximum possible benefit from their pre-school education. Under our proposals every child will get the benefit of nursery teacher experience which is currently not the case.
"We're also developing degree-level qualifications for early years professionals, enabling them to play an even greater role in shaping children's lives at this vital early stage.
"It's heartening that HMIE have found such compelling evidence to back our position and I would encourage all providers of pre-school education - be they private, voluntary or publicly-run - to invest in their staff as a route to improving outcomes for children."
The Scottish Government is committed to extending pre-school education by increasing entitlement by 50 per cent for three and four-year-olds. Early steps have already been taken to meet this commitment by increasing entitlement to 475 hours a year for all pupils.