We are very worried about the impact this policy is having on nurseries in terms of recruitment and staff morale, particularly with the 30 hours free childcare offer on the horizon. There are very able childcare practitioners with years of experience on a Level 2 who are being prevented from progressing in their career.
It seems the Government is more concerned with how its policies will be perceived by people rather than what their impact will be.
This emphasis on GCSEs is so blinkered and symptomatic of this whole mindset that has led to the reform of the national curriculum where suddenly school children are meant to be performing at a much higher level for their age than they were previously.
Of course it is vital pre-school children are cared for by practitioners with a good level of Maths and English as they play a crucial role in their education and development.
However Functional Skills is a tried and tested route, giving practitioners practical skills and teaching them strategies to engage with children and spark a lifelong interest in numeracy and literacy.
The qualification gives childcare practitioners skills which are relevant to their daily jobs which can be easily applied in the context of an early years setting.
Children all over the country are being affected by this decision. We want the Government to rethink this narrow-minded policy.