Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: “The report shows some encouraging signs of improvement in early years provision in England.
“For some time, NAHT has been campaigning about the vital importance of getting early years provision right. The report says that the number of people working in early provision with at least a level 3 (A level or equivalent) qualification rose to 84 per cent. Pay levels are also increasing. This is encouraging progress.
“There is evidence that the increase in the number of early years provders is starting to slow. To cope with demand it’s likely that settings are increasing the number of places they offer. We would ask government to watch this trend to ensure that settings with the highest demand don’t become over-burdened.
“Between 2011 and 2013, the amount of day care provision continued to rise. 74 per cent of full day care settings and 68 per cent of sessional settings were delivering funded provision for two year olds. So the support offered to lower income families appears to be working.
“Nowhere is the need for professionalism and respect more evident than in the early years of education. If more resources are put in at the beginning of a child’s life in education, the benefits for that child when they leave will be improved. NAHT believes it is time to end the artificial divisions between early years and primary education.
“NAHT would like to see full Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) made available for all early years professionals. Early years setting should have at least one QTS practitioner. They should be on the same pay structure as others with QTS.
“All children in early years should also be entitled to the pupil premium and the same arrangements for school meals as infant age children.”
To read NAHT’s manifesto for education click here: http://bit.ly/1BLx3cZ
Page Published: 18/09/2014