By Deborah Lawson, Voice General Secretary
Untapped Potential, the latest report from Save the Children, is welcome for highlighting the shortage of early years teachers and how childcare settings with highly qualified staff have “a substantial and positive impact on a child’s early development”.
There are barriers to recruitment and retention of staff, including the issue of qualifications, and these will only become more challenging without a career and salary structure for early years professionals.
However, we must remember, even under the current circumstances, how many children benefit from high quality care and education delivered by early years staff in private, voluntary and independent (PVI) settings.
The number of nurseries rated good or outstanding by Ofsted is increasing. The current early years workforce is therefore delivering high quality childcare from which many pre-school children are benefiting.
As I commented before:
“We do not want to see the development [or promotion] of a two- tier system, which implies that the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector is staffed by little more than well-intentioned amateurs when, in truth it, is the hot house for the whole childcare sector, supporting the workforce at great cost, to higher and higher levels of academic achievement and providing a practical/operational expertise in a diverse sector, the final destination of which for those who wish to have any form of career progression and job security is school-based provision.”