Feedback from our members has shown that the current requirement for Level 3 Early Years Educators to hold GCSEs in both Maths and English is creating an additional barrier to Early Years students entering the profession.
We are also hearing how Level 2 practitioners already working in the sector are being restricted from progressing and fulfilling their potential. Many organisations and settings are now finding it increasingly difficult to recruit the appropriately qualified staff they need to maintain the staff ratios required by regulation.
A number of other professions and vocations accept Functional Skills as equivalents, and PACEY is calling for this approach to be applied to the early years sector.
We know that not every individual is suited to a GCSE approach and some practitioners, particularly adult learners, find reaching this requirement extremely challenging alongside managing a full-time job. This is especially the case for many experienced Level 2 practitioners who are unable to progress due to the current requirement.
At PACEY our mission is to support everyone working in childcare and early years to provide high quality childcare and early learning, and champion the vital role practitioners play in helping prepare children for a bright future. There is a clear need to improve support for all childcare professionals – whichever setting they work in. We feel the most appropriate and effective approach would be for Functional Skills to be improved and enhanced so that they can be recognised as equivalent to GCSEs for the Early Years Educator qualification.