The Early Years Workforce Commission (EYWC) has called on the Government to provide a package of changes for the sector, as findings from its new report reveal that without immediate intervention and drastic action, the workforce is at risk of becoming ‘unsustainable’.
Produced by the EYWC, a steering group made up of leaders from across the sector, ‘A Workforce in Crisis: Saving our Early Years’ revealed challenges practitioners are facing. The report also set out solutions based on research and data gathered from a range of stakeholders, which it said would ‘ensure the sector’s workforce is able to continue providing sustainable and high-quality early years provision’.
“An underpaid and undervalued workforce, combined with issues around funding, training, recruitment and retention, has resulted in a sector that is now ‘in danger of becoming untenable'”, EYCWC stated. Evidence from the report showed that only 23 per cent of the workforce felt that their job was safe following the outbreak of Covid-19.
The Commission’s research found that 44 per cent of early years workforce respondents felt their learning and development had been negatively impacted during the pandemic, and more than 50 per cent of respondents said low pay was the main factor resulting in people leaving the sector. Sixty four per cent of respondents had not had a pay rise in the last year or more.
The report’s key recommendations to prevent further damage and support a recovery included providing additional resources for settings, and an awareness campaign on the importance of early years childhood education and the crucial role early years professionals play in supporting this.
Source: Early Years Educator