A National Childcare Company would borrow against future contracts for childcare from the Scottish Government and use that to invest in infrastructure and a long-term business model, creating more high-skilled childhood practitioner jobs in the growing profession. This would vitally increase the number of staff in early education, and improve opportunities and wellbeing for those already in the sector—populated overwhelmingly by women. It would also be an opportunity for those in the sector to redesign the integration of their service into other areas of care (for example with health visitors and early years care in the NHS), and should create opportunities for practitioners to develop professionally, for example using their invaluable university research training in Academies. Increased salaries might not stem from 'professionalisation' alone, and increasing pay rates (perhaps by standardising hourly rates for the service) should be a primary policy goal of this proposal.
Childcare might fall under procurement rules and so it is possible that rather than a National Childcare Company this would need to be done through local authorities. But interventions not only to create more high-pay jobs but crucially more high-pay jobs for women must be a priority.