Two leading childcare and education bodies are calling on the Government to take action on the pay and status of Early Years Teachers.
Currently Early Years Teachers (EYTs) do not have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which means they do not have the same status and pay as teachers working in schools.
PACEY (the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) and union Voice are calling on the Government to replace Early Years Teacher Status with a new early years specialist route to QTS, specialising in the years from birth to seven.
They also want it to be a requirement for reception teachers to have early years training, as currently any primary school teacher with QTS can teach reception without early years-specific training. However, an Early Years Teacher is not allowed to teach older children.
A survey recently carried out by the two organisations revealed that just under half of EYTs cited the need for the public, the sector and schools to gain a better understanding of the EYT qualification, and recognise EYTs as highly trained and skilled professionals. Around 20 per cent recommended that EYTs be granted QTS.
A substantial number also mentioned the need for early years settings to receive sustainable funding for free entitlement places to enable them to pay graduate wages.
PACEY’s chief executive Liz Bayram said: ‘Our children are losing talented Early Years Teachers who understand the uniqueness of a child’s early development and are key to helping close the gap for disadvantaged children. This has to stop.’
Voice General Secretary Deborah Lawson pointed to the danger of the workforce becoming less professional in the future.
She said: ‘Recent research has pointed to a downward trend in qualification levels, as settings experience high staff turnover because they cannot afford to retain their experienced staff, invest in their training and development – or even recruit them in the first place.
‘To stem this exodus of specialist graduates working in early years, the Government needs to take urgent action. In view of our findings, PACEY and Voice have made a number of short and medium term recommendations.’
To read the report go to: https://www.pacey.org.uk/news-and-views/news/urgen...