Cash-strapped providers say they will spend less on training next year

Karen Faux
Monday, June 24, 2019

Government underfunding and rising business costs mean that the majority of providers will struggle to provide vital training and continuing professional development, according to the National Day Nurseries Association’s (NDNA) sixth workforce survey, published on Wednesday.

Early findings from the NDNA’s latest workforce survey paint a bleak picture of the state of training in the sector.

Despite high turnover of staff and the need for mandatory training to ensure staff can be counted in ratios, just 18 per cent of survey respondents said they were planning to spend more on training in the next 12 months. The majority said they would spend less.

Meanwhile eighty-five per cent of those providers who have less budget to spend on training cited rising business costs as a major factor.

According to NDNA,  the pressures of higher costs, inadequate Government funding and increased staff turnover, mean that nurseries will continue to struggle to upskill the workforce.

With staffing accounting for 70-80 per cent of a provider’s overall budget, any increase will narrow the money available in other areas, such as training.

More than a third of respondents said they could only focus on mandatory training and many highlighted underfunding for Government places as a major factor in this situation.

  • Of those that are spending less:
  • 39 per cent are focusing only on mandatory training.
  • 30 per cent are carrying out in-house training.
  • 85 per cent said this was due to increased business costs.

Priority areas for training highlighted by respondents are: safeguarding, first-aid, food hygiene, baby room, speech and language, and behaviour management.

The majority of respondents (55 per cent) were planning to spend less, while around a quarter (27 per cent) intend to spend a similar amount to the current year.

The findings are based on responses from 705 nursery settings, employing 14,540 staff, and 257 individual practitioners.

‘Continuing professional development is vital for improving outcomes’
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: ‘Recent academic research shows that CPD is one of the three key components for quality provision and improving outcomes for children in nursery. So we all know how important ongoing professional training is for the early years workforce.

‘These findings from our workforce survey for England reinforce what NDNA has been saying time and again around underfunding: if nurseries are struggling to cover their costs there will be less available for investing in their staff or their settings. As staffing costs increase above inflation but Government funding stagnates, it is negatively impacting on training budgets and staff development.

‘Without sufficient investment and adequate funding for childcare places, nurseries will struggle to upskill their workforce in the way they want to in order to benefit the children.’



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