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Men in Early Years Challenge Fund

Men In Early Years Challenge Fund

8 Jan 2019

The Scottish Funding Council is pleased to announce that Inverness College UHI and West Lothian College have been successful in their bids for the Men in Early Years Challenge Fund, launched by Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd in October.

Currently, only 4% of the current workforce in Scotland is male - the £50,000 fund is designed to increase the number of men working in early learning and childcare (ELC), and bids were invited for evidence-based pilot projects that could be replicated across urban and rural areas.

The successful colleges will now use this funding for pilot projects in their regions focused on increasing applications from male students, and retaining those students to successfully complete Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registered ELC qualifications.

Michael Cross, SFC’s Interim Director, Access, Skills & Outcome Agreements said, “We had seven submissions from colleges around Scotland, and we’re really grateful to all those that took the time to submit proposals.”

“The range of submissions highlighted a strong appetite from the sector to work in new ways to address the stubborn under-representation of men in childcare, diversifying the workforce by bringing a greater range of passionate, dedicated people on to ELC courses in Scotland’s colleges. We encourage the sector to continue to work with new and existing partners towards this aim.”

The Challenge Fund is part of a range of measures that will tackle gender inequality, consistent with SFC’s Gender Action Plan; and it should inform future developments in the ELC curriculum.

“Meanwhile, we encourage all colleges to continue to seek new ways of working and ensuring gender equality is embedded across their ELC training, so that practitioners are equipped to tackle - not reinforce - gender stereotypes when they enter the profession.”