*This report is part of a larger two-year Working for Inclusion programme which sought to focus attention on and strengthening understanding of how the early years workforce can support social inclusion and address poverty across Europe. The programme description and additional project reports can be found on the Children in Scotland website.
This report addresses the theme of inclusive workforce models for rural and remote areas, in relation to the overarching theme of the Working for Inclusion project: the role of the early years workforce in addressing poverty and social inclusion.
Rural regions differ from urban in a number of ways affecting access to and use of early childhood education and care services, including demographic, geographic and economic factors and social, cultural and service conditions. Provision and availability of services, and access to them, may be compromised in rural regions compared with urban settings. However rural areas may offer extensive access to outdoor environments and may make more use of parental and community support.
Delegates found the level of coordination, cooperation and integration that Norway has achieved in planning, developing and delivering early childhood and educational services to be exemplary. It is highly effective in meeting the needs not just of children, but of families as well, thereby offering real support to the social, cultural and economic development of local communities, even where these are scattered or isolated.