PACEY is delighted to be involved in the Department for Education and Ofsted’s joint initiative on tackling excessive workload in the early years sector, and attended the first advisory group meeting this week.
Susanna Kalitowski, PACEY’s Policy and Research Manager, who is on the project advisory group, said: “We know from our recent Building Blocks research on 30 hours – which had over 2000 respondents from across the sector – that unnecessary paperwork and red tape remain a key challenge for many early years practitioners. For example a third of providers who responded said that “too much paperwork and red tape are putting them off delivering funded hours”. On a regular basis, PACEY hears from members that a local authority has placed additional requirements on them to be able to deliver funded places or to access particular services. We follow up these cases where we know DfE guidance is clear this should not be happening.”
The research also showed that some local authorities have improved administration of the entitlement, and the majority of practitioners reported that they have not had problems meeting local authority requirements. But a third reported difficulties with using the local authority’s funding portal, and a fifth have had to submit policies or undergo training in order to deliver funded places. This should not be happening.
Susanna continues, “PACEY has been raising the issue of unnecessary paperwork for many years and hopes this new project will help deliver further improvements. We also know that working in early years and childcare means long hours and little support, especially for the many childminders who work alone.
“Aside from tackling unnecessary paperwork to help reduce workload, PACEY is keen to explore with DfE and Ofsted how we can provide early years practitioners with advice and support on caring for their own wellbeing as well as the children in their care. This would build on the advice and support we offer our members, following our 2015 conference on this issue.”