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

Early learning apprentices

Soaked through but still full of enthusiasm, our latest recruits to Midlothian Council’s Modern Apprenticeship scheme in childcare are among 310 council early years practitioners helping deliver the expanded 1140 hours of high quality early learning across the county.

Induction now over

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

Getting paid while getting a qualification

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.

1140 hours offered ahead of deadline

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Jim Muirhead 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.

Recruitment drive

“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.

Funded (free) hours almost doubled

“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.”

Find out more

19 Oct 2021