Pay equity for Scotland PVI sector needs significant investment MSPs

The Scottish Parliament’s Education, Children and Young People’s Committee met to discuss and assess the rollout and implementation of the 1140 hour offer. The committee is made up of ten cross party Members of the Scottish Parliament and it is their role to scrutinise the policies implemented by the Scottish Government. They meet weekly when the Scottish Parliament is in session and cover a range of topics in relation to education including early years and childcare.

The Committee heard evidence of pressures of sustainable funding rates not meeting costs and pressures on workforce as a result of ongoing impact of parental choice and access to places.

Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats’ Party Spokesperson on Education enquired about the differences in pay between council run nurseries and the PVI sector. He cited examples of a Local Authority Head of Centre in Falkirk and a Deputy Head of Nursery in Glasgow who were paid significantly more than their PVI sector equivalents (71% and 87% respectively).

Matthew Sweeney, Policy Manager – Children and Young People, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) said in response: “if [pay equity] is to happen [it] will take a significant amount of additional investment from the Scottish Government if that is the space they are looking to move towards.”

Mr Rennie, in an impassioned response replied stating: “I’m just staggered by this admission that somehow those who work in the PVI sector are worth less even though they are doing supposedly exactly the same job. How can this ever be? Are we surprised there is an exodus of staff?”

Jonathan Broadbery, NDNA Scotland’s Director of Policy and Communications, put evidence to the Committee on the issues the policy is facing said: “Today MSPs heard evidence from the frontline about the very real challenges that the roll-out of the 1140 hours policy has created for providers, from insufficient funding rates to a hollowing out of the workforce as staff leave private and voluntary settings to go to council-run nurseries.

“This is evidence NDNA Scotland has been providing throughout the implementation and the situation was made worse by the pandemic. Sustainable funding rates are not about just paying everyone in private, voluntary and independent settings just the real Living Wage but about making sure this is the minimum. Providers want to recognise and reward their staff above this rate, especially where they have high qualification, more experience and greater responsibilities.

“To make sure that nurseries and early learning and childcare providers can continue to deliver the excellent care and education that Scotland’s youngest children need we need to see funding rates addressed and more support for the workforce.

“NDNA Scotland once again put forward proposals to make sure funding truly follows the child for the funded places. A single online childcare account would put choice firmly in the hands of parents, would ensure equity for children and simplify the system for providers and local government.”

You can watch the whole session here.

  • Scotland
  • Children and Young People’s Committee
  • funding
  • Matthew Sweeney
  • NDNA Scotland
  • Willie Rennie

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