Review of training and qualifications in early years


An independent review to strengthen the training, qualifications and career opportunities of people working in early education and childcare has been launched by Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather.
The review is part of a range of measures to improve early years education and childcare, especially for disadvantaged young children. Evidence shows a clear link between a high qualified, skilled early years workforce and children’s healthy development. Meanwhile, the number of people working in childcare has risen by 25 per cent since 2006.
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said: "It’s essential that people working in the early years have the right skills and training to give children the best start in life. One of the most important factors affecting a child’s healthy development is the quality of the education and childcare they receive in their earliest years.

"We want to make sure young children are starting school ready and able to learn. So we need to look at the training and qualifications of those working in the early years.
Professor Cathy Nutbrown, an expert in early childhood education from the University of Sheffield who will lead the review, said: "It’s vital that we have a professional, diverse and confident workforce who feel equipped to do their job well. They are often the unsung heroes of the children’s workforce – responsible for the care, education, development and wellbeing of over three million young children.

 I will look at how to improve the rigour and quality of current training and qualifications, and create a clear route for career progression.
The review will look at:

  • The content of early years and childcare qualifications and training courses to improve the skills, knowledge and experience of early years professionals.
  • Career progression and motivation in the early years workforce.
  • The development of a range of qualifications to meet the needs of all professionals, at every stage of their career.
  • The high standards and quality that are needed to meet the needs of children, families, workers and employers in the early years sector.
  • Raising the status of early education and childcare.

The review will run until December 2011.