Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2024: Investing in Early Years Education
National Apprenticeship Week is here, and it’s time to celebrate the incredible value, benefits, and opportunities that apprenticeships bring to the table. At Connect Childcare, we are passionate about early years education, and we understand the pivotal role that apprenticeships play in shaping the future of early years.
Investing in excellence: increased funding for early years educator apprenticeships
This week, FE Week reported the Education and Skills Funding Agency has announced a significant increase in funding for the level 3 early years educator apprenticeship. Starting from April 2024, the funding will rise from £6,000 to £7,000, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to supporting the early year’s workforce amidst childcare reforms.
Addressing workforce challenges
The expansion of funding, including the provision of 30 hours a week of free childcare for eligible working parents of children aged nine months up to three years in England, underscores the importance of investing in the early years sector. However, as highlighted by Ofsted, challenges persist in terms of recruiting and retaining qualified staff.
Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted, underscored the pivotal role of apprenticeships in her compelling speech at the Big Conversation in 2023. She emphasised the urgent need to encourage more young people to pursue apprenticeship opportunities, recognising their significance in meeting the evolving demands of the early years sector.
Commitment to inclusivity: Kids Planet's pledge to empower older workers
Nursery Management Today recently reported a significant step from one of our esteemed customers, Kids Planet Day Nurseries. They have enthusiastically embraced the Age-Friendly Employer Pledge, a nationwide initiative aimed at enhancing the recruitment, retention, and development of older workers. By actively seeking and hiring talented individuals over the age of 50, Kids Plan
Exemplary leadership: recognising outstanding apprenticeship employers
Additionally, it was inspiring to see some of our valued customers such as The Old Station Nursery Group, Kids Planet Day Nurseries, and Busy Bees Childcare being recognised as outstanding apprenticeship employers in the government’s latest rankings, as reported by Nursery Management Today. These groups have shown exemplary dedication to investing in the development of their workforce and providing valuable opportunities for individuals to gain skills and experience in the early years sector.
At Connect Childcare, we applaud these efforts and recognise the crucial role that apprenticeships play in shaping a highly skilled and diverse workforce. As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2024, let’s continue to invest in the future of early years education and empower individuals to succeed in this rewarding field.