Childcare and Men in Practice (CHAMP)

What's involved? content

What's involved?

We are offering a free introductory certificated 11 week evening course to train men into Scotland’s early year’s workforce. After completion of this course, men can apply for entry onto HNC Early Years & Childcare.

The CHAMPS course is funded through the Scottish Government, as part of a concerted and ongoing effort to achieve a more gender-balanced early years and childcare workforce.

Currently, just four per cent of Scotland’s early learning and childcare workforce are male. Other countries have increased male participation rates, for example, Norway has increased from a figure of 3% in 1991 to 10%.  

The presence of a positive male role model in a child’s life is invaluable, adding to the rich learning experience of children’s activities such as reading, playwork and outdoor play in their all-important early years.

We are encouraging men to consider a childcare career as a ‘second career’ option, and utilise the skills from past employment and reflect on their personal experiences as hands-on carers.



Scottish Government video

What's involved on the CHAMPS course? content

What's involved on the CHAMPS course?

What's involved on the CHAMPS course?

The CHAMPS course is an all men class. You will undertake 4 accredited SQA units, delivered in the classroom and online. You will attend college for 3 hours per week over 11 weeks and also undertake independent online study.

 The course is designed to equip men with the confidence, awareness and skills to work within early years and childcare. It covers:-

  • The development of children and young people – identifies the key milestones in each of the aspects of a child’s development from birth to 18 years, methods to assess development and professionals involved.    
  • Promoting wellbeing of children and young people – explores a range of influences and circumstances which may have an impact on the wellbeing of children and young people, the physical and emotional risks at different stages of a child’s development and the role of adults such as parents, play workers and teachers.  
  • Play for children and young people – explores the benefits of play, considers and reflects on the play environment.
  • Support the safeguarding of children - support on handling safeguarding concerns that might be raised, the associated legislation and roles and responsibilities of adults.
Careers in Childcare content

Careers in Childcare

Careers in Childcare

Men working in early years report high levels of job satisfaction - not only is it a career full of variety, with indoor and outdoor working, it offers flexible hours and lots of opportunities for career progression.

From 2020, all children from the age of 3 in Scotland will be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week (school term).

To meet this demand, the Scottish Government has announced a significant increase in childcare training places to help deliver the additional workforce required. Scotland needs around 11,000 new childcare workers by 2020 including a mix of new start practitioners and managers.

Volunteering and paid positions are many and varied including support workers, playworkers and trainee early years practitioner roles.

Early learning and childcare careers – Scottish Government video

Early Learning and Childcare - A rewarding career - Early Years Scotland video  

How Scotland is encouraging more men to consider a career in childcare

All Childcare courses content Useful resources content
Heather Keyes, head of care practice at Inverness College UHI content Programme Development Manager, Care Practice

Heather Keyes, head of care practice at Inverness College UHI

"There’s a huge amount of research that shows role models of both genders are critical in early years, and that men bring different skills and approaches to learning, which is important for child development."

Fraser Polworth, HNC Childhood Practice student content Fraser Polworth

Fraser Polworth, HNC Childhood Practice student

Fraser Polworth (19), from Inverness, initially studied business at Inverness College UHI after performing well in the subject at secondary school. But, he knew it wasn’t the career path for him and decided to volunteer at a nursery. He loved it so much he’s now studying HNC Childhood Practice.

“What I love about childcare is the balance between challenge and reward. You are a role model for the children you look after and have an important job in terms of influencing their development - from showing them how to respect others, to encouraging their confidence and helping them overcome barriers. We need to move away from the idea it’s just like babysitting, the career deserves so much more respect. It takes patience and understanding but it is one of the most rewarding and meaningful jobs you could choose. Gender isn’t a defining characteristic in the workplace and for every person that stereotypes you, there will be others who respect, encourage and support you for the admirable work you do.”

Jaci Douglas, chief executive Care and Learning Alliance content Jaci Douglas, CALA

Jaci Douglas, chief executive Care and Learning Alliance

“Encouraging more men into careers in Early Learning and Childcare would bring a number of benefits, including increasing gender equality and providing children with positive role models of both genders within settings Also, with the coming expansion and Highlands large rural area, we need to ensure we attract and retain as wide a group of individuals as possible with the right skills into this rewarding and essential profession.”

Jackie Brock, chief executive, Children in Scotland content Jackie Brock, Children in Scotland

Jackie Brock, chief executive, Children in Scotland

“We are delighted that Inverness College UHI has been successful in its funding bid in this important area; it’s critical that more men choose childcare as their profession. If we are going to achieve gender equality in Scotland then no area of work can be considered “men’s” or “women’s” work. Early learning and childcare is a critical area for children’s development and young children will benefit most if the skills and experience of a diverse workforce formed of both women and men is available to give them the very best start in life. The planned extension of childcare hours across Scotland also means that we urgently need to see a rapid increase in the number of childcare professionals overall.”

Maree Todd MSP, Children's Minister content Scittish Government | Riaghaltas na h-Alba | logo

Maree Todd MSP, Children's Minister

“The expansion of funded early learning and childcare gives us a great opportunity to build a more diverse workforce and bring new approaches to learning and play, all to the benefit of our children in their formative years. Men are currently significantly under-represented in ELC and increasing the gender balance will help ensure that all children have access to positive male role models from their earliest years. I am pleased to see Inverness College UHI is leading the way in a bid to increase gender diversity within the ELC workforce by using their Men in Early Years Challenge Fund in such an innovative way.”