Staff changes will create risks to children and drive staff out of early years education

Instead of trying to provide education on the cheap, the government must improve funding for the sector

Responding to the government’s launch of a consultation into increasing early years staff-to-child ratios from 1:4 to 1:5 for two-year-olds, UNISON head of education Mike Short said today (Monday):

“Children will be put at risk and staff will be driven out of the early education sector by this government interference.

“Workers are already quitting due to unmanageable workloads. Attracting new staff will be near impossible if ministers heap ever more responsibility on employees.

“Claims that ratio changes reduce costs for parents are a smokescreen. The reality is that risks will increase as staff look after more children and support for the youngest will fall.  

“Instead of seeking early years education on the cheap as a way of tackling the cost-of-living crisis, the government must improve funding for the sector.

“Staff should be paid a wage reflecting the vital importance of their work. Only then will the sector be able to recruit and retain high quality workers and give children the start in life they deserve.”