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Early Years Educator qualifications

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) confirmed this week that all entrants to the new level 3 Early Years Educator courses will need to hold a GCSE in Maths and English at grade C or above.

 In accordance with these changes, the Skills Funding Agency will now only fund those courses which require GCSE Maths and English at grades A-C, and the NCTL are also looking to amend the EYFS so practitioners gaining the new Early Years Educator qualification will have to also have Maths and English GCSEs at grade C to count towards staff:child ratios as level 3 in group settings.

Liz Bayram, PACEY's Chief Executive, said, "Whilst we recognise the vital importance of raising professional standards in childcare, we are concerned that requiring individuals who want to enter the profession to have A – C in English and Maths at GCSE before they study the new Early Years Educator (EYE) qualification is not the best way forward. It is likely to reduce the number of people willing to enter the profession, which is already a challenge given the low salaries for childcare professionals. These new proposals also fail to recognise the many different ways in which people enter childcare as a career.

"PACEY is concerned that Government's decision not to recognise the proven functional skills route for adult learners is a mistake. Functional skills ultimately provide the same outcome, of people with strong maths, English and other core skills. Without this option available to study the EYE qualification, many adult learners wanting a career in childcare will find it more challenging to enter the profession.

"We share the ambition to have a highly qualified childcare workforce, as this is the best way to provide quality care for our youngest children. However this narrow definition of workforce quality will reduce the number of people entering childcare careers in the first place. It risks losing many of the adult learners who currently enter the profession, particularly through the childminding route, who have skills and ability but not yet a formal qualification. Government needs to take a much broader view of workforce development, one that recognises not only the requirements of adult learners but the need to require those already in the childcare profession to continuously develop their skills and knowledge and remain up to date with best practice."

What will be the full impact of these reforms on our members?