Generations of talent are being lost through a lack of investment in the early years workforce which risks widening inequality in our society. This is according to a new report from the Sutton Trust and the Centre for Research in Early Childhood that reviews recent developments in early years policy and sets out a framework for urgent action to improve social mobility in the early years.
The report urges government to improve the training, pay and conditions of early years staff to support all children’s learning and development before school begins.
Access to high-quality early years teaching and well-qualified staff is hugely important for all children, leading to positive language, physical, social and emotional development. It is particularly crucial for disadvantaged children, who may not have access to the same home learning support as those from better-off homes.
According to the report:
- The creation of the new qualifications of Early Years Educator (EYE) and Early Years Teacher (EYT) has not led to a boost in recruitment of higher qualified staff in the sector. In fact, recruitment to early years teacher (EYT) courses has dropped dramatically over the last 5 years, significantly limiting progress towards securing highly qualified leaders in all settings.
- There is a high level of turnover in the early years workforce which is losing more experienced and qualified staff, mainly due to low salaries and lack of career benefits. This has led to an increase in staff with lower qualifications in many settings.
As part of the Early Years Workforce Commission, PACEY provided additional knowledge and evidence to support the report. Read it now.