The Daycare Trust have just published a report called ‘Raising the bar; what next for the early childhood education and care workforce’. This report explores how pay in the early years sector is lower than in other sectors and the possibility of wide spread research into pay to inform a payscale. Not surprisingly, it concludes that pay is generally low and that this is at least partly the reason why so few men follow careers in childcare. Most of us within the sector completely agree that salary levels should be higher, but with tight margins this would inevitably result in higher fees, unless there is some supply-side funding from the Government.
The National Day Nurseries Association responded to the report by saying: ‘This report reflects how early years practitioners are doing a fantastic job for often little pay. Day nurseries fully recognise the need to raise salaries following achievement of qualifications and inline with other sectors, and would dearly like to reward their staff, but as the report highlights this cannot be achieved without direct Government intervention. In recent years, the sector has developed clear progression routes and career opportunities, yet pay has been unable to keep pace with this. As this report shares, it is important that experienced and qualified staff are better rewarded, but we would like to stress that money is not the only motivator.
What do you think? Should the full costs of childcare be passed on to parents, or do you think tax payers should be helping to subsidise national childcare, as working parents benefit the economy and children should all be given equal access to early education? I’d love to hear your thoughts…..