Commenting on research by the Sutton Trust entitled World Class which shows through international comparisons how the Government's plans for the expansion of early years education risks widening the gaps in child development and will lead to a poorer quality of education, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union said:
“It is clear from this research that the government can no longer treat the early years as a childcare solution alone. The early years sector is a distinct and unique phase of education and is essential to a more equal and socially just society.
‘We were pleased to see that the research acknowledges the vital role qualified staff play in delivering educational quality. Unfortunately, it is incredibly difficult for qualified staff to join and remain within the sector. Pay is disturbingly low and does not reflect the vital work early years staff do for children and their families. Rather than addressing this issue, the government are currently consulting on plans to deregulate qualifications and staff - child ratios in the sector, which will worsen quality and recruitment further.
‘We hope plans for deregulation are abandoned and instead, measures are taken to ensure that early years staff get the pay and status”.