DfE to reform Level 3 early years qualifications

Katy Morton
Friday, October 29, 2021

The Department for Education is to review and reform level 3 early years qualifications as part of its measures to address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young children.

The DfE has announced further details of its Early Years Education Recovery programme, which includes reform of qualifications, PHOTO Adobe Stock
The DfE has announced further details of its Early Years Education Recovery programme, which includes reform of qualifications, PHOTO Adobe Stock

It is one of a number of interventions under the Government’s £153m Early Years Education Recovery programme, further details of which were announced yesterday, they include:

  • An expansion of Level 3 SENCO training for nursery practitioners and childminders.
  • More early years initial teacher training places to increase the supply of qualified graduates to the sector.
  • A review and reform of Level 3 qualifications.

Other measures previously announced by the Department of Education include an extension of its Professional Development Programme (PDP) to boost children’s early language and numeracy skills, stronger practice programmes with online training on child development, access to mentoring support and an opportunity for settings to explore innovative practice, along with programmes to train practitioners to support parents with home learning.

The Early Years Alliance has however expressed its disappointment over the package of measures announced by the DfE, arguing it is support the sector should already be receiving.

Chief executive Neil Leitch explained, ‘While we welcome any increased funding on early years training, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the early years recovery programme funding has been used to pay for professional development support that the sector should have already been receiving from Government.’

He added, ‘Many of the programmes outlined do not seem to have a clear link to specifically supporting children’s educational recovery after months of lost learning. If this programme is to have a genuine, tangible impact on those children most impacted by the pandemic, then that needs to be its focus – but this is not clear from the details released so far.

‘While the £153 million in funding is an increase from the £10m of support originally announced, it represents just 3 per cent of total education recovery spending, which now sits at almost £5 billion.’

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