Today thousands of school leavers will anxiously be waiting for their GCSE results. Childcare practitioners and childcare apprentices will also be waiting for results after several nursery providers gave their employees to chance to re-sit their GCSE’s to enable them to progress to the next step in their career.
In 2014, the Department for Education stated that Level 2 childcare practitioners would not be able to proceed to their Level 3 qualifications without a minimum C grade in Maths and English. It was also announced that Functional Skills are not to be seen as an equal equivalent to GCSE status, despite the fact they provide apprentices the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a practical way.
The GCSE requirement is putting pressure on childcare providers who are struggling with the shortage of Level 3 qualified practitioners, who manage more responsibility than Level 2’s and can be left unsupervised in a room to manage activities and trips.
A new Childcare Minister was announced earlier this month, Caroline Dinenage, and she will be honouring a promise made by previous Minister, Sam Gyimah, to review this requirement. Even to allow Functional Skills as an alternative would reduce the recruitment barriers for childcare providers, something that will heavily impact the delivery of quality childcare in the future, particularly with the pilot approaching for 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.
National Day Nurseries Association, NDNA, has over the last three years been gathering data regarding the situation that childcare providers and learners are in following the requirement introduction in 2014. Their results show that there have been up to 60% fewer childcare apprentices across the country in the last three years, with nearly half of young people not achieving their Maths and English GCSE’s at a minimum C grade in school.
Here at Aspire Training Team we wish everyone luck receiving their GCSE results today, and look forward to working with a wide variety of childcare apprentices across the South over the coming months. To find out more about childcare apprenticeships, click here or call the team on 01202 551553.