Strategy ahead for workforce leaders

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The coalition Government says it will be announcing its plans in the new year to develop early years workforce leaders.

Speaking in a debate at Westminster Hall, children’s minister Tim Loughton said, ‘Central to a quality setting is a quality workforce. We are committed by March to announcing a strategy to improve the quality of the early years workforce and the development of a new generation of leaders for that sector.’

Mr Loughton also reiterated the Government’s commitment to introduce regulations to ensure that all local authorities include a deprivation supplement in their Early Years Single Finding Formula, so that all disadvantaged children will receive more funding.

‘As a result, money will be provided for those children who need it most, as well as incentivising providers to offer free places to those families. When children start school, the pupil premium will follow them from reception year onwards, and we will consider whether it should be extended to nursery education over time.’

At the debate, Ann Coffey, Labour MP for Stockport, said that improving the take-up of early years education for the most disadvantaged families was crucial.

She explained how the successful two-year-old pilot in her constituency was due to its support work with families and a brokerage service run by Stockport’s family information service, which helped encourage parents and offered home visits to explain childcare options to the family.

Mr Loughton, (pictured), added, ‘The national implementation of the Early Years Single Funding Formula will ensure that local funding decisions are more transparent. We will use the forthcoming education Bill to clarify the position of maintained nursery schools and nurseries in schools in being able to charge for additional nursery education beyond the free 15 hours, to help increase choice for parents.’

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