Back to news listing

Next article

NEWS: Report calls for early years pay and career structure reform in England

A new report published today by the Social Mobility Commission has called on the government to reform pay and career structure for the early years workforce. The report, The stability of the early years workforce in England, argues that low pay, a high workload and a lack of career development risks having a serious impact on provision of early years care and education.

According to the new research, undertaken for the Commission by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), as many as one in eight of childcarers are paid under £5 an hour. It also highlights the long hours worked by childcare professionals, high level of turnover and lack of training and career development structure. It points to an increasingly unstable workforce, with too few new entrants replacing those leaving the sector. 

The research found that the main barriers to a stable workforce are:

  • low income
  • high workload and responsibilities
  • over-reliance on female practitioners
  • insufficient training and career opportunities
  • low status and reputation
  • a negative culture and climate within the organisation

Responding to the report, Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive, said:
"We welcome this report from the Social Mobility Commission. For far too long childcarers have had desperately low incomes, relying on in-work benefits to make ends meet, with little recognition for the incredible work they do.

The sector is crying out for a coherent workforce development strategy that supports and incentivises practitioners to continuously improve their skills, gain higher qualifications and progress their careers.

"Childminder numbers are in freefall. Without immediate action to retain existing childminders and encourage new entrants, there will be a devastating loss of flexible, high quality childcare places - places that will be vital to support parents as they return to work.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has cast a sharp light on the fragility of a sector that is critical for the future well-being and education of our youngest children as they seek to catch up from the time they have lost. We need a clear long-term government strategy that includes desperately needed investment to give every child the chance to thrive."

Read our quote and more on BBC news.