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Review to improve the training and qualifications for people working in the early years

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

An independent review to strengthen training, qualifications and career opportunities of people working in early education and childcare is launched.

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Nutbrown review

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather has asked Professor Cathy Nutbrown, an expert in early childhood education from the University of Sheffield, to lead the review. Today Professor Nutbrown launched a call for evidence to hear from people working in the early years about the training and qualifications they think they need, and from employers, trainees, and parents.

The number of people working in childcare has risen by 25 per cent since 2006.

Professor Nutbrown will focus on the qualities needed to ensure that young children receive the best quality pre-school education. She will focus on improving the confidence, knowledge and skills of people who work with families on all aspects of children’s development.

The review is part of a range of measures to improve early years education and childcare, especially for disadvantaged young children. Evidence shows a clear link between a high qualified, skilled early years workforce and children’s healthy development.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said:

It’s essential that people working in the early years have the right skills and training to give children the best start in life. One of the most important factors affecting a child’s healthy development is the quality of the education and childcare they receive in their earliest years.

We want to make sure young children are starting school ready and able to learn. So we need to look at the training and qualifications of those working in the early years.

Professor Cathy Nutbrown said:

It’s vital that we have a professional, diverse and confident workforce who feel equipped to do their job well. They are often the unsung heroes of the children’s workforce - responsible for the care, education, development and wellbeing of over three million young children.

I will look at how to improve the rigour and quality of current training and qualifications, and create a clear route for career progression.

The review will look at:

  • The content of early years and childcare qualifications and training courses to improve the skills, knowledge and experience of early years professionals.
  • Career progression and motivation in the early years workforce.
  • The development of a range of qualifications to meet the needs of all professionals, at every stage of their career.
  • The high standards and quality that are needed to meet the needs of children, families, workers and employers in the early years sector.
  • Raising the status of early education and childcare.

The review will run until December 2011.

Notes for editors

  1. The call for evidence is published in the Nutbrown review section of our website.

  2. Professor Nutbrown will be supported by an expert panel. Members of the panel are:

    • Nicola Amies, Director, Bright Horizons
    • Michael Freeston, Pre-School Learning Alliance
    • Julian Grenier - Early Years Adviser, Tower Hamlets
    • Professor Tricia Maynard - Canterbury Christ Church University
    • June O’Sullivan - Chief Executive London Early Years Foundation
    • Helen Perkins - Head of early years, Solihull College
    • Wendy Scott (TACTYC) Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators
    • Chelle Davison, Joint Chair, SEFDEY
    • Sue Robb, 4 Children
    • Ann Headley, former Adviser/Inspector in Bradford LA
    • Megan Pacey, Early Education

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Published 28 October 2011