Caroline Dinenage, the Minister for Women, Equalities and Early Years, has announced a consultation on the literacy and numeracy skills needed by early years staff in England. The consultation follows calls by the sector to change the maths and English GCSE requirement at Level 3 amid increasing concern on the impact these requirements are having on recruitment into the sector.
Caroline said: ‘The findings will help inform my upcoming workforce strategy which, along with our record investment in the sector, will support nurseries, preschools and other early years providers to offer high quality, free childcare for thousands more families across the country.’
The consultation will close on 28 November and you can submit your response here.
PACEY has been raising concern about the GCSE requirements for many months and actively works as part of the Save Our Early Years campaign to change the GCSE requirements for Maths and English. Our view is that the GCSE requirements are a barrier to progression and that functional skills should be recognised as an alternative, as they are in other professions.
Liz Bayram, PACEY’s Chief Executive, comments:
“PACEY knows how critical it is for children to be supported in childcare settings that have highly qualified and well rewarded practitioners. We know there are significant barriers to attracting and retaining people working in early years including current GCSE requirements. This consultation is an important first step, so we welcome it. But it must be part of a coherent workforce development strategy or we risk losing great practitioners, who feel undervalued just when the sector needs them to help it meet the expected demand for the enhanced 30 hours entitlement.
“PACEY is keen to work with government, regulators and others to ensure quality is supported, career progression is improved and practitioners fairly rewarded in England's childcare system.”