Responding to research by the National Day Nurseries Association which reveals the number of qualified nursery practitioners has fallen, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, said:
“The findings of this survey back councils’ concerns over the funding of early years childcare schemes and the need for investment in qualified nursery staff.
“Good quality early years education is vital in helping children get the best start in life, and despite the good intentions of the 30-hour free childcare scheme, insufficient funding is impacting on the quality of provision and support for children with special needs, as providers struggle to balance budgets.
“Our recent survey found that more than three-quarters of councils were concerned about the quality of Level 3 practitioners working in early years settings, with higher wages and improved professional development suggested as the best ways to improve this, while half felt the new early years funding formula would result in a decrease in the quality of early years practitioners in their area.
“It is vital that the Government’s forthcoming Spending Review sees that early years providers are properly funded to allow them to provide sufficient numbers of qualified staff who are able to deliver the high quality childcare that families want for their children.”