Greater clarity on the new childcare qualifications

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The government’s publication ‘More great childcare’ (January 2013) set out the vision for quality in early education and childcare.  The  goal was to make sure there is more great childcare available for parents and children. The introduction of early years educators (level 3) will ensure those who work with babies and young children are increasingly skilled and professional, and early years teachers will be expected to be educated to the same level as a primary school teacher.

Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), said: “There is nothing more important in early education and childcare than the quality of the staff who are delivering it. The workforce supporting our babies, young children and their parents should be well qualified, well respected and well led.”

From September this year, early years teacher trainees must have at least a GCSE grade C in English, Maths and Science, or their equivalent. From September 2014 they will have to pass the same skills test as classroom teacher trainees.  (Download the teacher standards here)

Following an 8 week public consultation undertaken by the NCTL, which ended on 22 April 2013, the early years educator criteria were published last week, to some criticism from the industry.  Early Years Educators will be expected to hold GCSE Maths and English to start the course, which is equivalent to an A-level. (Download the qualification criteria here)

Education minister Elizabeth Truss said: “Good quality early years education, which is teacher-led, has been shown to be beneficial for children, especially those from low-income backgrounds. It makes a difference to young children’s lives and enables them to learn and grow.”

The Pre-school Learning Alliance has, however, expressed disappointment that there is no explicit commitment to learning through play in either qualifications, or reference to working with children with special educational needs.

Chief executive Neil Leitch said: “We are dismayed that the government has chosen to ignore the advice of qualified and experienced early years and childcare practitioners and make no explicit reference to learning through play in both of these qualifications.

“In our consultation responses to the government we stressed the importance of referring to learning through play in these qualifications as this is the cornerstone of high-quality early years provision in this country. That the government has chosen to ignore such a key foundation of early years practice is a grave concern.”

He also disagreed with the government’s claim that the creation of the early years teacher and educator qualifications would improve the status of the sector, noting that although early years teachers will have to undergo the same skill tests as classroom teachers they will not be granted “qualified teacher status”.

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4 thoughts on “Greater clarity on the new childcare qualifications

  • July 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm
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    When will we get the help and funding that LA’s get in the schools. We are expected to become the same as teaching staff but we are told our LA early years teams will not play as much a part as they always have giving us help and support. It will be down to OFSTED. I think the government have got it all wrong. If we are expected to do the same as teachers and provide the same ‘quality care’ whatever that is then give us the same emotional and financial support!

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  • July 15, 2013 at 7:09 pm
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    Qualifications does not give children a better start in life ,it comes down to care , compassion and understanding what indivual children needs . What are the government doing to our childcare !

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  • July 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm
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    I believe that a qualification does not give you the hands on experience, maternal instincts and the passion that many of the pre-school workers have for their jobs. Learning through play is the best way to get the children to achieve the early years curriculum, it is all about the interests of the children.

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  • July 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm
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    I would still like to know how we nursery owners are expected to keep our fees affordable when it seems we are going to be forced to employ teacher status staff! I cannot imagine that someone so highly qualified is going to settle for 18’000pa!!

    Reply

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