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Requirement for GCSEs causing recruitment crisis

PACEY is supporting a new campaign that aims to overturn the Government’s decision to only accept GCSEs in English and Maths as qualifications for Level 3 Early Years Educators, and instead allow Functional Skills alongside GCSE qualifications.

Early years organisations backing the Save Our Early Years campaign say that the policy is causing a crisis in recruitment as childcare providers across the country are having real problems in recruiting Level 3 practitioners. Organisations joining us in the campaign include CACHE, the Pre-school Learning Alliance and the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA).

The campaign makes clear that whilst English and Maths skills are vital for the early years workforce, and that Level 3 Early Years Educators should be able to demonstrate good standards in both these subjects, Functional Skills should be given equivalent status. A number of other professions and vocations, including health and social care, accept Functional Skills as equivalents, and the campaign is calling for this approach to be applied to the early years sector. This was among a number of recommendations made in Building Blocks, PACEY’s report on the state of the childcare and early years sector in England, published in summer of last year.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive of PACEY, comments "Feedback from our members has shown that the current requirement for Level 3 Early Years Educators to hold GCSEs in both Maths and English is creating an additional barrier to Early Years students entering the profession. There is a clear need to improve support for all childcare professionals – whichever setting they work in. We feel the most appropriate and effective approach would be for Functional Skills to be improved and enhanced so that they can be recognised as equivalent to GCSEs for the Early Years Educator qualification."

You can read more about PACEY’s views in Liz Bayram’s recent blog for Save Our Early Years.

The BBC news story also quotes Liz Bayram 

You can join the campaign at and follow the conversation on Twitter at #SaveOurEarlyYears