HIGHLAND Council is this week launching a recruitment drive for 140 extra nursery staff – a massive jobs boost to the region.
The announcement comes as local authorities in Scotland prepare to implement an increase in childcare provision from August 2014.
As part of the implementation of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, all three and four year olds in Scotland will be entitled to 600 hours per year of early learning and childcare from August.
The current entitlement is 475 hours, so this is a significant increase in provision.
School nursery sessions will be extended to 3 hours 10 minutes - an increase of 40 more minutes.
This has led to changes in nursery staffing structures, that mean the council will be recruiting around 140 new Early Years Practitioners, each working 23 hours per week - with opportunities in all parts the council area.
The council will be seeking people who have experience of working with young children and preferably hold a recognised qualification.
Consideration will also be given to people who are willing to undertake training to gain the relevant qualification.
Councillor Alasdair Christie, chairman of the education, children and adult services committee, said: “The increased childcare provision will be very welcome for both children and families.
“It will create options to help parents get back to work, and also provide more support for children’s development.
“A further welcome aspect is this boost for employment in childcare services, which will be extremely helpful in communities across the authority.”
The closing date for applications is Friday 2 May.