Jo Frost, best known for the Supernanny TV show and Jo Frost Nanny on Tour, is calling for the Government to reinstate Functional Skills as an alternative qualification to GCSEs for Level 3 Early Years Educators.
“The Government seems to have missed a huge grey area, whether people working in childcare have GCSEs is irrelevant to whether they can do the job or not. It is vital for people working in nurseries and childcare settings to have a good standard of literacy and numeracy, but I also believe it is critical that staff have the ability to teach young children healthy communication, emotional intelligence, and socialisation skills too. Functional Skills would provide all of these essential elements.
“Working with young children is about establishing a connection with them, truly understanding them and recognising their potential so that professionals in the childcare sector can encourage young children to thrive. This is how we teach genuine self-esteem and how they learn to become more confident little people.
“The GCSE rule is just ludicrous and so counter-productive, and must be dismissed, allowing childcare settings again to recruit and progress brilliant practitioners to Level 3. It is essential that the Government changes its mind on this issue. There is clear evidence that the childcare sector is suffering and unable to recruit the staff they need so that children get the best start in life. Childminders, Nannies and Nursery Staff provide a critical service and the best have good literacy and numeracy skills but also the soft skills that mean they can understand a child and get the most from them. I believe it is every child’s rite of passage to a good early years education. Functional Skills must therefore be reinstated as an alternative qualification, as it is for every other sector.