Nine in ten parents of children six and under agree that early years educators have an essential role to play in their child’s development and believe they should be paid accordingly, research suggests. Nursery World reports.
The findings come from a YouGov survey of 1,085 parents of children aged six and under commissioned by education charity Montessori St Nicholas, as it prepares to mark 100 years of UK teachers being trained in the Montessori method.
Asked which pay bracket they would expect early years educators of children from birth to six to receive, more than a fifth of respondents (22 per cent) said they would expect them to be paid £17.61 an hour, the same as associate professionals and police officers.
Meanwhile, a similar proportion estimated their pay at £11.69 an hour, the same as a skilled trade, for example a carpenter or electrician.
The survey found that:
- One in two parents (50 per cent) said learning through free play in early years education was the most beneficial way of helping their children learn.
- Parents placed importance on skills for life, such as social skills (81 per cent), self-confidence (80 per cent), kindness (75 per cent), creativity (71 per cent) and concentration (63 per cent), putting less importance on reading (69 per cent), writing (66 per cent) and numeracy (61per cent)
- However, technology was considered to have an important place in early years settings. While 62 per cent said teachers should use technology as an educational tool to guide learning, only 40 per cent wanted their children to personally interact with devices, for example using education apps, while at nursery or pre-school.
Commenting on the research findings, Leonor Stjepic, Montessori St Nicholas’ chief executive, said, “It is encouraging to see the high level of importance parents and the public place on early years education, particularly with social mobility in mind – as well as seeing how important the British public and parents consider early years educators to be. However, this is currently not matched in funding priority from Government and we see nurseries and pre-schools under pressure.”
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