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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Saturday, 24 March 2012

'Raise pay and status of child care jobs'

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A major review for the Department for Education into childcare provision has found that nursery staff and childminders are being allowed to work at pre-school groups without demonstrating even "basic literacy or numeracy skills".

Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, the national charity for children and families, said that it is right to have this report as things are changing dramatically and there are increased expectations of what is required early years.

She said it is "fit and proper" to review qualifications and this review "shows up some real gaps" one of which is in entry levels to qualifications.

She explained that if you are trying to read a story and you bring it to life, it changes the dynamic of reading but you need to the confidence to do this and the confidence to translate it to children.

Conservative MP Elizabeth Truss, who has campaigned to deregulate childcare services said that "we need to improve quality in the sector" and cited the example of the Netherlands where they have succeeded in better quality and having better regulation at the same time.

She maintained that regulation in the UK is about "ticking boxes".

Mrs Truss said that child care workers in the UK are visited by Ofsted once every three years whereas in the Netherlands you would get 16 hours of training every year and a visit from regulators every six months even though the Netherlands spends less than is done over here.

Anne Longfield said that the review indicated that there is really not the depth in training which follows through to the workplace.

She maintained that what is needed is to make meaningful qualifications, which better equip students who want to come through, and this does not necessarily mean spending more.

She also said "we need to raise pay and status" of these jobs.


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