What are your ambitions and goals as the new chief executive of CACHE?
I want to build on our reputation as the specialist professional awarding body for the childcare sector, to continue to deliver and develop excellent services that meet the needs of the sector. And I want to build on that excellence as we expand in adult social care, health and educational support.
What are your thoughts on the Early Years Educator and Early Years Teacher qualifications?
It is great to see the Government's commitment to the development of excellent staff in the children's workforce.
But we need to ensure access and progression into the Early Years Educator and from this to the Early Years Teacher. We are also committed to ensuring that those learners who are not covered by the Early Years Educator are well catered for - for example, those working with children over seven years.
Concerns have been raised that the new Early Years Educator qualification (Level 3) will not cover learning through play and specifically working with children with special educational needs. Do you think this will be the case?
Our extensive market research has told us what the sector is looking for and we will respond to that as we meet the needs of employers and learners, as well as meeting the criteria laid down by the National College.
One of CACHE's themes for the new qualification is learning through play and special needs is the focus of one of the new units.
How is CACHE's Level 3 qualification taking shape?
We aim to have a package of information together for release at the end of September 2013.
Further support materials will be rolled out after that, including textbooks and e-learning materials.
Do you think the requirement for GCSE C or above in maths and English will be a barrier to learners wanting to take the next step?
It is right that this should be a requirement for the Early Years Educator to raise the quality of the workforce, but we need to ensure that functional skills will also count.
We also need to make sure that the Level 2 stepping stones are available, so we don't cut off access for staff with great potential who have not been served well by the traditional academic approach during school.
How far are you with developing the Higher Apprenticeship, a response to a lack of funding available for those wanting to do Level 5?
We are still in discussions around the Level 5 and await some clarification around the requirements and expectations.