Voice: the union for education professionals – which represents education, early years and childcare staff – has commented on the news that the Government is launching a review of childcare and on the Nutbrown Review’s calls for higher qualifications for nursery staff, including increased maths and literacy skills.
Senior Professional Officer (Early years and Childcare) Tricia Pritchard said:
“It is important that the childcare workforce should be highly qualified and professional – they are often the first professionals that young children and their families have contact with. They provide the first experience of formal childcare for children and their families.
“For too long there has been a general perception – a misconception – that anyone can care for children.
“To ensure that the profession is of the highest quality, the childcare workforce must be qualified. Requiring all those who work with children to hold a relevant qualification will take this forward, but there must be a strong career and salary structure to go with this.
“It is true that there is a serious shortage of quality and affordable childcare and how we pay for this as a society must be fundamental to the Downing Street review. If parents cannot afford to pay the fees that nurseries need to recruit and retain high quality, professional staff, then who will? It seems that a major and sustained investment from the state will be required.
“The early years are crucial to every child’s development and it is essential that we have an early years system that meets the needs of children, families and professionals.
“How can the childcare system deliver, and recruit and retain a skilled and well-trained workforce, in the face of cuts to local authority services and the axe of closure and redundancy that hangs over children’s centres and other early years settings, and the staff who work in them?
“Any extended provision of childcare through longer school opening times must also be of high quality and provide rich and valuable experiences, and not be seen as, or become, somewhere for parents to ‘dump the kids’.
“We will, of course, provide our contributions to both reviews.”
Contacts: Voice Press Office (email@example.com) on 01332 372337 or 0794 871 0413 or Senior Professional Officer (Early Years/Wider Workforce) Tricia Pritchard on 0796 996 0735 or 01332 372337.
Voice: the union for education professionals
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