To gather sector views and inform its response to the review undertaken by Professor Cathy Nutbrown, NDNA met with members, its National Policy Committee and also offered members the opportunity to feed in their views via an electronic survey.
Stella Ziolkowski, NDNA’s Director of Quality and Workforce Development, said: “Employers have told us that in many cases the quality of delivery of qualifications is a greater issue than the content of the qualifications and because of this, many people completing qualifications are simply not ‘work ready’. NDNA believes this should be addressed with more robust requirements for trainers to be up-to-date with practice and initiatives which should help to ensure that this knowledge is transferred and that learners are fully qualified upon completion of their course. Areas of development should include the requirement for trainers to have higher-level qualifications to enable them to effectively teach core elements, such as child development and understanding of the EYFS.
“Another issue facing the early years workforce is public perception of the role and level of professionalism and skill required to do it effectively. There is an anomaly between the view of the sector and the demands and impact on children the job actually entails and there need to be actions taken to alter this, particularly with careers services that are the initial point of contact for those thinking of a career in the early year sector. Of course, the sector will struggle to recruit and retain a high-quality workforce in the future without better pay and continued targeted investment in the right level of training and qualifications.
“Our members also report that they want to see a balance between the individual needs of learners and the duration of learning. Currently, learners are taken through qualifications at a pace determined by funding rather than being based on the need of the individual. NDNA strongly believes that all programmes of learning need to be a mix of academic elements and hands-on learning and the length of programmes should be determined by each learner’s needs.
“There has been a real growth and very positive investment from Governments in the early years sector over the past decade. The workforce is enthusiastic and committed to providing the best quality care and early education for children and we hope that changes to the qualifications will enable them to continue to do so.”
NDNA’s response to the consultation also covered other issues, including the possibility of introducing a licence to practice which would help to improve the professionalism of the sector by ensuring practitioners are qualified to the appropriate level and skills are maintained through a programme of continued professional development.
Notes to editors:
• National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is a national charity representing children’s day nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children. NDNA is the voice of the sector, an integral part of the lives of nearly one million children and their families
• For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Lindsay Garfitt, Senior PR and Policy Officer, on 01484 40 70 66 or Lindsay.Garfitt@
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National Day Nurseries Association is a national charity representing children’s nurseries across the UK, giving them information, training and support, so they can provide the best possible care to young children.