Julie Hyde, the Associate Director of CACHE, the organisation leading the Save Our Early Years Campaign, said:

“We are delighted that this consultation has received so many responses – demonstrating the strength of feeling on this vital issue. We must not lose sight of the fact that the sector is facing a catastrophic recruitment crisis right now.

“The immediate solution – that will help to elevate staffing pressures on nurseries – is for the Government to reinstate Functional Skills as an alternative to the GCSEs.

“Good literacy and numeracy are vital for early years practitioners – and alternative Functional Skills qualifications in these subjects provide these skills, as well as the practical soft skills so vital to be a high-quality early years practitioner.

“A new equivalent qualification will not resolve the issue now – only reinstating Functional Skills immediately will fix the early years recruitment crisis and allow progression. We urge the Government to think carefully about the issue in hand now, before we consider the longer term.”

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