An extra 300 nursery workers could be needed in Aberdeen if government targets for funded childcare places are to be met.
The Scottish Government is committed to expanding provision of funded early learning and childcare (ELC) for every child over the course a year from 600 to 1,140 hours by 2020.
The expansion is to help parents return to work or study by providing more free childcare.
A new report, to be considered by members of Aberdeen City Council’s education operational delivery committee, said officers estimate an extra 300 practitioners may be required in nurseries across the city.
It added: “The actual number will only be determined as working patterns and the level of flexibility to be offered are explored in further detail.
“This work is ongoing and plans will be amended as decisions are taken.”
Aberdeen City Council is considering a range of options to get more nursery workers ahead of 2020 including offering all its current staff the opportunity to retrain as early learning and childcare practitioners.
A first group of 30 council employees began training in August and are being redeployed into nurseries for this training year, with plans already in place for a second group to begin in November.
The council has also been working in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, Moray Council, Aberdeen University, NESCol and local training providers to increase the number of options available to those wanting to work in the sector. This officially launched in March with more than 250 practitioners attending and around 70% of those worked in the city.
There are now 845 staff employed in the ELC sector in Aberdeen.
Councillor Lesley Dunbar, vice-convener of the committee, said the council is “committed” to employing 300 “highly trained and motivated” practitioners.
She added: “Aberdeen City Council has established an Early Learning Academy to try and encourage and promote early learning childcare as a positive career choice.
“This academy will help us train those new employees as well as allowing us to implement best practice right across the city to ensure every child that goes to nursery school get the same dedicated level of support they need as young children.”
The Scottish Government has committed to providing local authorities across Scotland with revenue funding of an additional £567 million per year by 2021-22, the first full financial year of the expansion.
In addition, the Scottish Government has committed to provide councils with total capital funding of £476m over four years to support buildings projects to create new indoor and outdoor capacity to deliver the expansion.