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More than half of early years settings say they have a "skills gap"

By Rachel Lawer
children learning
More than half of all early years settings say there is a “skills gap” in their staff team, according to a new survey from Ceeda.
55% of those who responded to the survey said that there were skills gaps within their team, with an estimated 35,600 staff reporting missing skills in the workforce.
Early years staff reported skills gaps relating to knowledge of stages of development (26%), methods of supporting children’s learning (27%), observation, assessment and planning (26%) and understanding and managing children’s behaviour (22%).
Other commonly-missing skills were related to identifying and supporting children with SEND (19%) and establishing good relationships with parents (17%).
Other skills shortages identified included more general tasks such as problem-solving (31%), self-confidence (25%) and team work (21%).
The reasons managers gave for these gaps included qualifications that hadn’t fully prepared staff for their job roles (55%) and recruitment difficulties (38%).
Cost was cited as the biggest barrier to further training and development, with increased workload the second next most common barrier.
Recruitment appears to be a consistent problem for the sector, with 77% of respondents reporting that vacancies are hard to fill. To fix the problem, half of the survey respondents said they were hiring candidates without experience and 35% said they were hiring candidates without qualifications.
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