At Access Training, we are a leading childcare trainer for young people, and the policy changes introducing English and Maths GCSEs to EYEs are having a huge impact on the young people and childcare providers we work with. This is compromising our ability to provide the best training we can, as having to study towards a complex Early Years Educator Apprenticeship alongside GCSEs (all whilst working a full time job) are proving almost impossible.
It’s vital that the DfE recognise parity between Functional Skills, which truly fit the requirements of the job role, and GCSEs. The demands on childcare providers are increasing and the need for competent staff who are able to provide high quality childcare is at a peak. The expectations for these staff are high, including strong communication skills, IT literacy and recognising the key stages of development for children and how best to nurture and support them. Appreciation of literature and mathematical abilities needed on a daily basis differ hugely from those needed to achieve a grade C in GCSE. It is a love of Julia Donaldson and how many times a child can jump on the spot that we need, not an analysis of the Merchant of Venice and trigonometry.
I really hope that the Save Our Early Years campaign builds momentum, and that it raises the issue to a national level so we have a chance of changing this damaging policy.