From September, Childcare settings will find it easier to meet the government’s promise to provide 30 hours’ free early years education for children between 2 and 4 years old.
Since 2014, anyone wishing to work towards a level 3 qualification in childcare had to gain a grade C in GCSE English and Maths. This contributed to a recruitment crisis as nurseries struggled to fill their vacancies.
Pressure recruiting into childcare is now eased with the lowering of entry level qualifications for nursery assistants, to level 2 functional tests. This news is welcomed by many across the sector and is making it easier for nurseries to cater for the expected increase in demand for free nursery places.
Not according to research. In an article by the TES, it is suggested that children who have access to a qualified teacher (with at least a C grade at GCSE in English and Maths) perform only marginally better than those who do not. This supports the view that there has been an over-emphasis on academic qualifications rather than a focus on skill and the demands of the job.
Who knows what the next Government will bring after 8th June? One thing is for sure – the increase in demand for nursery places from September will remain and everyone involved must be prepared. The National Apprenticeship Scheme is still in its infancy and cutting its teeth, but as more providers get to grips with its rules and regulations, ATDirect will be there with a helping hand to support Early Years providers take their first steps. Find out how ATDirect can help your early years setting here.