New apprentices helping deliver 1140 hours of high quality early learning in Midlothian

The latest recruits to Midlothian Council’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme in childcare are among 310 early years practitioners helping deliver the expanded 1140 hours of early learning.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 1:00 pm
The early learning apprentices at Vogrie Park.

The 24 apprentices, 15 of whom are pictured at an expressive arts training session in rainy Vogrie recently, have finished an induction, online and in-placements, and are about to start their Scottish Vocational Qualification 3 in childcare with the aim of becoming fully-qualified early years practitioners.

Among the recruits are Nicole Wilson and Debbie Thomson, who both agreed the scheme was a great pathway to a rewarding career and an opportunity to learn while getting paid.

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Jim Muirhead (Lab) said: “I’m proud to say that, despite the massive challenges of the pandemic, our early learning service has been offering 1140 hours of high quality early learning and childcare to all three and four year-olds and eligible two-year-olds since October of 2020, well ahead of the extended Scottish Government deadline of August 2021.

“The ability to do so, in part, has been because of the recruitment programme, which has seen 103 apprentices taken on in the past 3 years. We’ve now got 310 practitioners, including learning assistants, in the council – that’s an astonishing 160% increase since 2017.

“The 1140 hours, which is almost double the previous offer of 600 funded hours across Scotland, will go a long way in giving our children the best possible start in life.”