Since the Government altered the entry requirements for Early Years Educators, the number of students progressing to Level 3 has dropped by 70% since 2013/14 and the pool of qualified practitioners is rapidly decreasing, with 43% of nurseries reporting that they’re struggling to find suitable candidates for vacancies: link here
In 2014, before this policy change, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published findings showing that 500,000 mothers could be forced to give up work because the childcare available for them was too expensive and inflexible to make their jobs worth it. This number will soar from September unless action is taken. With higher-qualified staff come higher wage bills. Instead of developing staff, those with GCSEs will be more sought after and command higher salaries. This, in turn, will lead to higher fees for parents: link here
The Government’s plans to double free childcare for parents of three- and four-year-olds could come to a grinding halt as fewer than half of the country’s nurseries say they are likely to offer the places. The nursery sector is reluctant to commit to offering more free hours when they already make a significant annual loss – an average of £34,000 per nursery – on the funded places they currently provide (National Day Nurseries Association Annual Survey 2016): link here
Pilots of 30 free hours’ childcare per week, term time, for three- and four-year-olds of working parents in England start this autumn with full roll-out to follow in 2017, under new legislation covered by the Childcare Bill. But in its Annual Nursery Survey 2016, National Day Nurseries Association found just 45% of nurseries, fewer than five in 10, say they are likely to extend the number of free hours on offer: link here
A report by the Education and Training Foundation (Making maths and English work for all) described how the traditional learning approach leading to GCSEs can, for some students, present real problems – and recognised that Functional Skills are an alternative to GCSE, rather than a stepping stone to it, and are emerging as qualifications that are valued by employers, learners and the education and training sector. Many argue that there needs to be an alternative to GCSE, one that suits greater contextualisation in delivery and supports the type of practical application of English and maths needed in the work place: link here.