The Government's 10-year childcare strategy aims to ensure degree-qualified staff lead every full-time daycare setting.


The former chief economic adviser to the Treasury, Ed Balls told the Daycare Trust's Annual Childcare Lecture in January: "Our goals should be that the early years workers of the future are well-educated and trained with the financial rewards to go with that status," and talked of a "parity of esteem" between early years workers and primary school teachers.


This may sound progressive and in the best interests of children and their carers. But is a degree level qualification really necessary to provide good care for under fives? Many preschools will be plunged into financial difficulty, forced to fund a worker (who may, due to family or other constraints, not have the time to take on a degree course part time anyway) for an expensive degree course which is not necessary.

Or, if they cannot find anyone within their own staff willing to train, they will be forced to hire someone else who has a degree level qualification already, whether or not they need the extra pair of hands.


This really seems like a very unhelpful way forward.

Why is this idea important?

It will save preschools from financial difficulty, and some from financial ruin. We already have a childcare shortage in this country; the idea of insisting that someone from each full time institution is educated to degree level will make it worse.

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