New strategy for early years education is flawed, says UNISON

New government strategy for England ‘is flawed as it says nothing about the pay and conditions of early years staff’

UNISON believes the Department for Education’s early years workforce strategy for England is flawed as it says nothing about the pay and conditions of early years staff.

The Department for Education recently published its early years workforce strategy setting out plans to develop the early years workforce in England.

The union is also disappointed that the strategy does not guarantee early years staff the same right to continuing professional development as other staff.

Proposals include:

  • allowing staff with an early years educator (EYE) qualification who also hold level two English and mathematics qualifications, including functional skills, to count in the level three staff to child ratios;
  • consulting on allowing those with early years teacher statusand its predecessor early years professional status, to lead nursery and reception classes in maintained schools;
  • developing new level two childcare qualification criteria;
  • improving the quality of early years training and access to continuous professional development.

But the union does to work with the Department for Education in producing standards for early years staff and in developing the level two qualification.