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Childcare push seeks recruits

By Staff Reporter

Nicola Johnstone at work for Country Bumpkins.
Nicola Johnstone at work for Country Bumpkins.

Scottish Government Viewpoint

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to show that people of all ages and backgrounds can enter a career in early learning and childcare – and it has won the backing of childcare practitioners in the Highlands.

The Scottish Government has launched its recruitment drive in the wake of its commitment to expand free early learning and childcare by 2020.

The expansion is expected to almost double the number of hours three and four-year-olds will be entitled to from 600 to 1140 per year. Eligible two-year-olds will also be included.

And this expansion has sparked the need to recruit additional staff, with up to 11,000 extra early learning and childcare professionals needed by August next year.

To achieve that a dedicated website www.childcarecareersscotland.scot has been created which includes a directory with a hub of 32 bespoke local authority pages where people interested in early learning and childcare can find jobs and training in their own area.

And Highland woman Nicola Johnstone, who works at Country Bumpkins Nursery near Gollanfield, is one of several chilcare practitioners in the region throwing her support behind the recruitment drive.

She first got into childcare after working as an au pair for a UK family shortly after returning from travelling in Australia and New Zealand.

"I really enjoyed it but found it a little lonely so decided to look for a role that had more of a team aspect," she said. "Before working in early learning and childcare, I was a hairdresser, and I still do some weekend hairdressing, but I really enjoy spending time with children and find it much more rewarding. Lots of my friends told me they thought I was really good with kids and encouraged me to go for it. I thought working in a nursery would be much more chaotic than it is, but everything runs so smoothly.

"I've just started my career in childcare, but I love it. There are lots of opportunities to progress and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my own ideas too."

* For details about opportunities in the Highlands visit https://childcarecareersscotland.scot/highland

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