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Addressing staffing challenges in the Early Years sector

Thursday 18th January 2024

There is no doubt that a huge demand is looming for skilled Early Years professionals, with various government incentives recently introduced to make it easier for parents to access childcare to enable them to return to work.

It is anticipated that the demand in 2024/25 is likely to rise by about 15%, which is equivalent to more than 100,000 additional children in full-time childcare settings.*

For the Early Years sector to expand, it will need to overcome its greatest challenge – staffing. There were reportedly 9,800 fewer people working in childcare in 2022 than in 2019, with the number of childminders down by more than a fifth, according to the DFE’s latest Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey.

OCN London ‘s Level 1 Award in Skills for Professions in Early Years is a flexible, bite-sized qualification which acts as a ‘taster’ for those wishing to explore vocational study alongside learning skills. It is suitable for all individuals including adults as well as those aged 14 and over and currently has EFA funding available for 14-16 year olds as well as funding across other groups.

It could be used for example as an ideal way to encourage attendance if you wish to give younger learners a taster of a vocational area, in preparation for further education or employment.

The Level 1 Certificate in Skills for Professions in Early Years is a more substantial qualification, which can be incorporated into a 16-19 study programme as the core qualification element or can delivered as part of a Level 2 Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship programme.

In order to address the demand for skilled workers, alongside the challenges faced by the Early Years sector, the education sector has a vital part to play in ensuring that individuals who are interested in working with children aged 0-5 years, have access to the appropriate advice, training and qualifications to prepare them for the profession.

If you would like to find out more about our Early Years qualifications, please get in touch with us at enquiries@ocnlondon.org.uk

*based on the latest estimated data from the Family Resources Survey, UK Government 2023.

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