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Pre-school Education: Teachers

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL5796, tabled on 2 March 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the reports by Save the Children, Untapped Potential published in October 2016, and Early Development and Children's Later Educational Outcomes published in February 2016, concerning the impact of having qualified Early Years teachers in nurseries on children's early development.

Answered on

8 March 2017

The Government agrees that the first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. Evidence tells us that they shape children’s future development and influence how well children do at school. They also affect their on-going health and wellbeing and their achievements later in life.

In 2013 we introduced the early years initial teacher training programme which leads to the award of Early Years Teacher Status. We have made a significant investment in this programme, funding is available for training course fees, with additional funding for nursery employers to help them support graduates in their setting to become early years teachers. To encourage the best graduates into the early years workforce we provide bursaries to eligible trainees.

On 3 March the Department for Education published an early years workforce strategy which seeks to remove the barriers to attracting, retaining and developing staff. For graduates we have begun the process to amend regulations so that early years teachers can lead teaching in nursery and reception classes in maintained schools. Over the longer term, we are going to consider how plans to strengthen QTS could offer positive opportunities for early years teachers. We also want to make sure that all settings serving disadvantaged children can access specialist graduates, so we are commissioning a feasibility study to explore how best to achieve this.

A copy of the early years workforce strategy is attached.