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Lib Dems early years pledge

In a speech yesterday, Minister of State for Schools David Laws MP said that a Liberal Democrat government would ensure early years teachers can secure better pay, as well as Qualified Teacher Status, if the party is elected in 2015. This pledge adds to the Lib Dem’s other election proposals for the early years, which include making all two-year-olds eligible for free childcare and increasing the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1,000 per child per year.

Commenting on these proposals, PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram said:

"We very much welcome David Laws' comments recognising the fantastic contribution that childcare professionals make. When so much of recent debate has focused on the cost of childcare, it is heartening to hear quality taking a centre stage. Our members would wholeheartedly agree that they remain undervalued and poorly rewarded in comparison to other professions.

"Expanding the Early Years Pupil Premium and supporting Qualified Teacher Status are welcome steps. PACEY has long been calling for a national workforce development strategy that recognises childcare professional's vital contribution and supports their continuous professional development (CPD). With more and more responsibility being placed on childcare professionals, most recently with the integrated review and SEND requirements, they deserve support to remain up to date and deliver high quality services.

"Local authority support has disappeared for all settings except those that require improvement, so a renewed focus on the development of this key community of professionals is much needed. We know at PACEY that new technology and peer support can provide a wealth of accessible and appropriate CPD for busy childcare professionals - and it does not necessarily require significant financial investment.

"We look forward to engaging with all political parties in the run-up to next year's election to persuade them of the value of investing in the early years workforce. It's the best way to ensure families have the choice of high quality childcare in a range of settings that suit their individual needs."

Follow this link to read Minister Laws’ full speech.