Acorn Childcare runs nurseries in Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire
Across Acorn Childcare, we have 10 nurseries and 14 full-time vacancies between them. Not long ago, 90-95 per cent of our staff were Level 3 qualified but we are now having to take on more unqualified staff to meet the ratios, and the situation has definitely got worse over the last year or so – despite significant sustained efforts on our part. It is true to say that generally there is an overall shortage of Level 3 qualified practitioners, but the GCSE-only rule is seriously exacerbating the problem. I would urge the Government to drop the policy urgently – the negative impact is hitting early years providers across the country, and ultimately that is being felt by under-fives and their parents. Our ethos is “putting children first”, and all settings want to provide the highest care and education possible, but the Government is making it increasingly difficult to do that.