Prof Cathy Nutbrown was asked by the Government to look at ways of strengthening the current childcare workforce. Her report concludes that the current system of qualifications for early years teaching is “not equipping practitioners with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need” to be able to give their charges a good start and goes on to call for all nursery staff to have professional qualifications equivalent to two A-levels by 2022.

The situation at the moment is that at least 50% of staff have to be trained to GCSE level although it was recognised that this level is often higher. Specific training requirements are already in place for all those working with children. These require all staff to have Level 1 Child Protection Training and the Senior Designated Person and their nominated deputy to have Level 2 Child Protection Training.

Professor Nutbrown said “Early education and care needs to support babies’ and young children’s all-round well-being and development. That is why I want the workforce to really understand child development, the importance of play and have good English and maths skills. There is no doubt that high quality education is important. We need to make sure the early years workforce has the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to provide the very best for our young children”.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said that the Government will now consider the report very carefully and will respond in detail later this year.

The Child Protection Company offers Level 1 and Level 2 Child Protection Courses for nursery practitioners.