Community: the union for education and early years professionals has welcomed the Royal Foundation’s early years research report.
Early years lead Letitia McCalla said:
“We welcome this report for highlighting the need to change perceptions about the early years.
“It seems that many people still think that childcare is about ‘looking after kids’ – a view that seems to inform the government’s ill-judged and misguided proposals on ratios. However, as parents and professionals know, early years education is about far more than that, and is crucial to children’s learning and development.
“We particularly welcome the Duchess of Cambridge’s call for greater investment in the early years workforce, who are so often overlooked and treated as the poor relation by politicians and policy makers.
“They deserve a proper national salary and career structure, with pay and professional development levels commensurate with their professional skills.
“It’s a great injustice and an equalities issue that highly trained and experienced early years professionals – predominantly women and often educated to degree level – can earn more in unskilled jobs.”
In Community’s 2021 survey report, The Future of Education, early years sector members recommended:
- a fair wage for every worker that takes account of their training and qualifications;
- the “free entitlement” to be fixed so it is truly free and works for both early years settings and parents;
- career development for early years workers;
- a focus on social skills and mental wellbeing; and
- a return to learning through play.