Challenges around recruitment and retention have been widely reported across the early years sector or a long time.
Many nurseries have struggled to retain staff and the Covid crisis has only made this worse. Reasons vary, however it is mostly due to pay and lack of career progression in some settings.
The Early Years Workforce Commission is a group of sector representatives from key organisations, including membership bodies, nursery groups, education charities, awarding organisations and independent research groups.
The main aim of the group was to undertake a review of the workforce challenges facing the sector and develop comprehensive and workable solutions to these.
Many people working in the sector feel completely undervalued and so this workforce will also work towards the sector getting recognised as a professional, hard working and committed industry.
As well as the survey, the commission are also asking organisations, individuals and businesses to respond to a call for evidence on the sustainability of the sector post Covid-19.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said:
‘Early years professionals across the country have done a tremendous amount during the current pandemic. Many have been the fourth emergency service during lockdown – key workers supporting other key worker families with critical childcare. Since the wider re-opening of settings they have been working flat out to welcome children back into settings, catching up on lost time and bringing back as much of a sense of normality as possible.
‘As part of the Early Years Workforce Commission we’re supporting efforts to understand both the short and long-term challenges facing the workforce to put forward practical solutions to help everyone in the sector. It’s important to draw on the energy, inspiration and experience from across the early years spectrum so we’re encouraging everyone involved in early education and childcare to have their say and share their views in this survey.’