The Early Years Workforce
We were delighted to get a preview of Ceeda’s latest About Early Years Annual Report, after being their Technology Sponsor since the beginning of the About Early Years Programme. The report has valuable insights into the different issues faced by the early years sector, and here we bring you the highlights of findings of the report on the early years workforce.
Is the early years workforce under threat?
Early Years Qualifications
The number of qualifications awarded for Child Development and Well-Being hit a dramatic low in 2016 with just 12,325 level 3 qualifications being awarded. Fortunately, this rose to 13,275 in 2017 and the figures from quarter 1 of 2018 suggest the gradual rise is continuing.
Although level 3 qualifications are slowly rising, enrollment in early years teachers courses continues to drop with only 595 students in 2017/2018.
Recruitment & Retention
45% of PVIs and Pre Schools reported that they had vacancies, totalling an estimated 24,600 posts. Unsurprisingly 84% were finding posts hard to fill.
The great news is that 90% of childcare staff had job satisfaction and 96% were proud of what they do. So, on the whole, the sector workers are happy and proud, but research shows that stress levels are increasing, which is a likely effect of the ongoing financial pressure on the sector and resulting cuts to settings.
Men in Childcare
On a positive note, the report shows a increase in the number of men working in the childcare industry. Research undertaken in 2017 estimates that 5% of the workforce are male, compared to just 2% in 2013.
The effect on quality
The report suggests that quality childcare could be under threat with many settings having to make changes in order to cope with funding pressures. 31% of the settings questioned said they had cut resources and activities, whilst 30% had reduced training and 18% had lowered ratios.
These may be necessary steps to take in times of financial difficulty for the childcare industry but each cost saving step has an impact on the morale and stress levels of the staff and the quality of the childcare provided.
The full annual report gives really important details of the state of the early years workforce in the current climate. With insights into what could be to come in the future, it is vital information for any childcare business owner.