An opinion piece written by Julie Hyde, Executive Director of CACHE, published on

In 2014 the Government changed the requirements so that all Level 3 Early Years Educators (EYEs) must have at least a C grade in GCSE English and in GCSE maths to count in the ratios. Before this, Functional Skills had been accepted as an equivalent or alternative to GCSEs.

We agree that English and maths are important for the childcare workforce - but Functional Skills in English and maths also provide staff with essential soft skills and must be accepted as an alternative for Level 3 EYEs.

The workforce has already reported concerns in recruitment – just two years following the introduction of this statutory requirement.

This is alarming and impacts significantly on any investment in the early years care and education of children.

Other sectors have functional skills as an accepted equivalent qualification and the early years sector should have parity.

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