EYS’s positive meeting with the Minister

Date: 9 February 2024
Topic: Early Years News, Early Years Scotland News

Early Years Scotland’s (EYS) Chair, Marion Burns, and Chief Executive, Jane Brumpton, met with Natalie Don MSP, Minister for Children, Young People & Keeping the Promise, on Thursday 8 February to discuss a range of early learning and childcare (ELC) related issues.

Initially the discussion centred on the draft Shared Inspection Framework, and Marion and Jane were keen to focus on feedback from EYS members and the wider sector, and to put forward some possible solutions. The Minister promised that she had listened to the sector’s concerns and will be ensuring a new way forward for the next stage of development of the framework.

The Minister also acknowledged the widespread assertion that ELC is experiencing ongoing funding challenges, including the workforce pay differential, and said she was committed to exploring ways to rectify this, within budget constraints. On pay, Jane asked if the national bargaining structure for the adult social care workforce could be extended to ELC, to which the Minister replied that this was being explored.

Jane also discussed the lack of value attributed to ELC staff nationally, given the recent Real Living Wage announcement, and a lack of equity regarding the current LA funding structures, causing extreme pressures for the ELC sector nationally.

There was also discussion around professional learning and lack of access to high-quality training due to the issues facing the ELC sector. The Minister told Marion and Jane that she was open to any ideas and approaches, and will keep the discussions going.

Marion and Jane thanked the Minister for the meeting and felt assured by her ambitions for the early years sector, and her commitment to ongoing discussion and action.

Pictured left to right: Marion Burns, Natalie Don MSP, Jane Brumpton.