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NEWS: New report calls for urgent action to protect the early years workforce

A new report has been launched by the Early Years Workforce Commission (of which PACEY is a member) which outlines the key challenges for the sector based on research from early years stakeholders, including PACEY members. The report sets out solutions to address these long-standing problems and calls on government in England to urgently take these recommendations on board. 

The report shows struggles in the sector which have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 70% of settings anticipated operating at a financial loss over the last six months of 2020 and 33% suggesting they would leave the sector.

The report also shows evidence that the workforce is undervalued and underpaid:

  • 23% of the early years workforce feel that their job is not safe
  • 44% of the early years workforce respondents feel their learning and development has been negatively impacted during the pandemic
  • More than 50% of the early years workforce respondents said low pay was the main factor resulting in people leaving the sector
  • 64% of early years workforce respondents have not had a pay rise in the last one to two years or more

The commission outline their key recommendations to address the crisis and support the sector, including:

  • Government to provide additional funding to support the sustainability of settings
  • An awareness campaign to improve the perceptions of a career in early years by emphasising that it is a highly skilled role
  • Changing the narrative away from ‘childcare’ towards ‘early years education’
  • Improving pay to a level that reflects the essential role that the workforce play in supporting young children’s development.

You can read the full report titled A Workforce in Crisis: Saving our Early Years here.