The Telegraph is reporting that school leavers will be able to claim up to £1,800 to work in nurseries under Government plans to raise the status of the childcare profession…
Around 1,000 students will be able to take new-style apprenticeship courses in early years education to address major concerns over poor standards of care for under-fives.
As part of the plans, apprentices will be paid £1,500 bursaries to cover living expenses and receive a further £300 for additional training.
The programme will only be open to students with at least a C grade or better in English and maths at GCSE and training will be centred around nurseries providing subsidised childcare places for infants from poor families.
It forms part of overarching plans to reform childcare in England amid concerns over the cost and quality of provision in some parts of the country.
Controversially, this includes proposals to allow adults to look after more children in a move that has provoked a powerful backlash from the childcare industry and parents’ groups.
But Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister, said: “Caring for and educating young children is a fantastically rewarding job.
“The bursaries announced today will make it easier for talented people to start a career in early education.
“Providing good quality early education is proven to help young children get a head-start in life, especially those who are from poorer backgrounds.
“I hope these bursaries encourage students to consider working in early education.”
The scheme will be open to applications from this September.
Apprenticeships are expected to last an average of 20 months and will be made up of on-the-job training combined with gaining childcare qualifications at colleges.
Is this a good move to get move to get more talented school leavers into childcare? Will it help recruitment and standards? Let us know what you think on Twitter or in the comments below.