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Thousands of nurseries in Scotland will receive free early years training until March to help them provide better childcare.
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), a charity representing children’s nurseries across the UK, has identified a need for greater training and secured funding from the Scottish Government to deliver it.
More training is required due to ‘an influx of apprentices and staff coming in recently who are new to the childcare sector’ a spokeswoman for the NDNA has said.
There has also been new national early years guidance introduced and an update to the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland.
Following talks with nurseries, the Scottish Government, local authorities, the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council, four courses are being delivered at nursery sites and online.
The aim of these courses is to increase the level of quality within nurseries, deliver best practice guidance and develop staff understanding of the essential elements of child development.
Care training provider BNG Training will conduct the course ‘Building the Ambition; National practice guidance for early learning and childcare' in numerous nursery sites across Scotland.
The three online courses ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’, ‘Pre-birth to Three’ and ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ are available via the NDNA website.
Purnima Tanuku, NDNA’s chief executive, said: “We would encourage all nurseries to participate and take advantage of this really valuable opportunity to access an excellent free training resource.”
Free training for England
In England, a bid to stop the trend of children falling short of numeracy and literacy targets at the end of the reception year, has led to the NDNA’s free literacy and maths champions training programme to educate nurseries on how to improve children’s numeracy and literacy. Maths champions, supported by the Department for Education, is in its third year.
The charity Education Endowment Foundation has given the NDNA a grant to roll out its maths champions project to 120 nurseries in 40 of the most deprived local authority areas in England. The project will train nursery staff to build the confidence and maths skills of their colleagues to develop early numeracy skills in disadvantaged three and four-year-olds.
The NDNA is currently recruiting nurseries to take part in the project, which will see maths researchers from universities giving their input as part of England's free nursery training.