"Lost decade" Alliance comments on new EPI research into workforce qualifications

"Lost decade" Alliance comments on new EPI research into workforce qualifications

Responding to the report, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

“What does it say about the government's approach to the early years that this report found the last effective policy for improving the sector’s workforce qualifications was abandoned almost ten years ago?

“While higher qualifications are no guarantor of quality – passion, a caring disposition and an in-depth understanding of child development are all equally as vital – if the government is to argue that we should be aiming for a well-qualified workforce, there is simply no excuse for the current lack of strategy.

"Add to this the lack of adequate investment into the early years, which prevents so many businesses from paying staff the wages they deserve, and it's no surprise we have a recruitment and retention crisis. We know that almost half of the early years workforce are in receipt of benefits: if the same was true of the primary or secondary sectors, there would be an outcry - and rightly so.

“We need the best people working in this sector, and that means paying a fair wage and ensuring they have a clear route to career progression. If the government wants to avoid another lost decade, then ministers need to set out a clear strategy and start funding the early years properly.”


About the Alliance

  • The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.
  • The Alliance represents 14,000 members and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.