Jump to content
About Us

care or qualifications?


Recommended Posts

Not really a question just wandering what people are feeling!


Following the headlines in the last few days about qualifications/ratios etc i am feeling rather irritated.


The problem that i am having is that there seems to be a divide.

Many of us started in this job as Mum's first and have picked up qualifications along the way (although i still dont have a degree :o )

Do we want our industry to be seen as professional and led by people with qualifications or do we want to be seen as people who might not be very bright but are good at entertaining children.


I have just been watching bbc news this morning who ...on commenting about the journalist who looked after 6 2 year olds for the day......stated that parents want people who are good at organising children, even if they couldn't speak or write good English, rather than those who have got qualifications (this is not a quote!!)

Is this the way we want our industry to be seen?? does this not go back to the oh you're not very bright go work with children brigade?

Surely if we want care and education for our little ones we need educated staff don't we? And this needs to be paid for. I currently have 3 members of staff who are doing or have finished degrees ...2 of them are looking for other jobs...not because they want to leave but because i can't afford to pay them any more. How do we get over this hurdle? I could change my ratios but i won't because they still don't have more than two hands and two eyes! :blink:

I could charge the parents more but i won't because we are in a mixed area with lots of families who can't afford higher costs.

So what's the answer......?

The problem is i can see a split here...will we end up with a highly qualified workforce who may not be good with small children or a less intelligent workforce who are badly paid but good at cuddles??

Is there a way we can have both?

Edited by finleysmaid
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe that actually parents do want a high quality workforce,both in terms of care and education. There is no reason at all that well qualified personnel does not equate with caring, loving personnel. The real problem is cost and NO ONE wants to pay for it..not parents, nor LEA. Until this issue is resololved, the desire for a higly qualified workforce is just "pie in the sky".

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one of the big issues is that we ARE good at both but both are not given the same value either in terms of money or status.

I thinks, as a workforce, we are also good at adapting to difficult environments (pack away settings); to difficult situations (child protection and Ofsted inspections etc etc); that we put up with the endless tinkering for the love of what we do.

The question is, how long we will all put up with all the problems before we give up under the stress?

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think I might be in grave danger of getting splinters in my backside here - as I am 'on the fence' with this one!


Would just say that the 'information sharing process' has been a real eye-opener for me........


Have had some info from a couple of vastly different groups ..........


In one case I felt 'embarrassed' for the young lady who had written it - spelling mistakes, grammatical errors (and yes I make them too) but really - engage the old 'spell check' :ph34r: perhaps even more 'worrying' was the clear fact that she had absolutely no knowledge of child development and had completely misunderstood 'Development Statements' :blink: now, if I received that as a parent, I would be less than impressed :o it also led me to wonder - where is her manager in this - why hasn't this been 'moderated'


Then info shared from another establishment that has a qualified teacher at the head - beautifully written information - but......I was quite taken aback by mention of worksheets, workbooks - hmmmm - haven't we moved on from there? :blink:


I am concerned that possibly the 'less bright' girls are still being steered into childcare by their secondary school teachers or career advisers :(


Well that wasn't very informative was it :blink: as I said 'I'm on the fence! :ph34r: :1b

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw the same news item as Finleysmaid this morning and it made me so cross. To quote the woman " I really can't see that you need to be academically bright to be a childcarer". Yet all they talked about re caring for 6 two-year-olds was toileting and nappy changing. Do they really think this is what the job entails? What about working with the EYFS, observations, planning and record-keeping, working with policies, working with other professionals, writing reports, dealing with safeguarding issues, dealing with an angry or upset parent, working with children with special needs, behavioural problems, medical issues, the many, many children with communication difficulties, working as part of a team, contributing to meetings, taking training. The list goes on and on.

I thought that a couple of days after the Truss report was published, I would have calmed down, but it just depresses me more and more.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've worked with people who are less 'academically bright', its not fair on them that they're steered into a job that will need more than they can give. They can train up but its a struggle they're not expecting when they enter the profession. Secondary schools need more awareness of what the job entails so they can help these young people make informed decisions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Finleysmaid. :D

Many years ago, after I was qualified and actually deputy, I looked after my young niece and nephew (around 2 and 4), my children were about 9-11 at the time and bearing in mind my house wasnt toddler proof anymore boy did I need their help!

I suppose in some ministerial universe its possible that my lack of GCSE English and maths was the cause of my total lack of skill in keeping these two happy and settled, clean and fed, but I'm willing to bet it was lack of arms, hands and eyes. Now if I couldnt do it in my own home, without the help of two minors I'm not sure how increasing their number would have helped either.

Its a crack pot idea thrown out because the government need to make changes somewhere, I vote they make changes to litter pickers, I'm sure they could pick up more litter at a greater pace with one arm tied behind their back.

I'm not sure you could separate the care from the education. I know school nurseries have a QTS and a level 3, is that what the minister is suggesting for all settings? One to educate, one to care? I could certainly raise wages then if I just had two to pay rather than 5, it wont bring down the costs to the parents though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how fair it is to encourage less academic students to embark on training for jobs which are untimately beyond their capabilities. Or is their a place in the Early Years for sensitive and caring individuals no matter what their academic ability.


Realistically, many parents would like to believe that their children (of whatever aged) are being cared for by someone who is sensitive to their personal needs and emotional status. PSED is the most valued area of learning and development and impacts on every other area of development both in the short term and the long term. Surely, those who are best able to meet this requirement must be suitably valued.


I acknowledge that the nature of survival and social acceptance dicate that there must be appropriately directed challenge and engagement to help children develop traditional and academic skills to sustain future personal and communal security. These skills are less easily assimilated and need to be taught by more academic and specifically-trained teachers to suit the age group.


This demonstrates how the primary schools' preference for flexible QTS to teach any age group as required to suit their numbers is an inherently defective model. The skills necessary to teach babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, reception class, KS1, KS2 and beyond are too diverse to accept a one size fits all mentality. Young children are experiencing such a rapid period of growth and learning, prior to school age, that their needs are totally distinct from those later in life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought:


I wonder how all this unrest will affect the current EYFS initiatives for positively developing children's dispositions for becoming effective learners.


RELATIONSHIPS are the most important factor in children forming good and effective learning dispositions. How will these relationships fare with the proposed increase to ratios? :unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I question why it is so many are leaving school so poorly equipped in basic skills (including speaking!) for any job?


Has it always been like this; I'm unsure as I clearly see a vast decline now than I did ten years ago in the quality of students (future workforce)


I know (tutors sharing info) that there's too much expectation of hand holding in college, making allowances, entry criteria is more about bums on seats than the right candidate...but to be fair the issue rolls back to school, they can only work with what they have and I guess filters eventually to nursery/pre school so yes, I agree quality is equally as important as care...and parenting has to be thrown in there too - without being judgemental too many children are being brought up in families who aren't prepared to take their responsibilities seriously. We see clearly the postive effect on the children of those parents who spend time with them (of all family types and circumstances) and this also impacts on what we can achieve as a setting


I don't think you can judge quality on paper (I.e by a list of qualifications) as its already proven there's a vast variety of quality in level 3's alone...some we question as to how they qualified at all!


When you step back and look at all the changes (in courses, curriculums, inspections, technology...text speak must affect spelling ability! etc) you can't help feel that the more 'meddling' that goes on, the worse things get...


we, as a team, have just spoken about never feeling as overwhelmed, stressed etc (not with the children...funnily their needs have never really changed much; attention, love, care, cuddles, challenge etc) and much of it is a result of having to do things that take us away from being with the children and doing what we do best


I think our sector has a confused expectation/vision and has had too much change (though some has been for the better, much has been to massage politician party's egos) that we are no longer able to settle and get on...the colleges can't keep up because it takes time for coursework to be rewritten which then leaves students ill informed...and so the cycle continues


In short, some things can be worked around...computers for paperwork, spell check and 'quality control' (though this takes a huge amount of time!) other things can't and shouldn't be compromised ...so for me care first, (I personally don't think this can be taught or learned) but learning and knowledge must follow in quick succession - whether it's formal or via high quality mentoring...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how fair it is to encourage less academic students to embark on training for jobs which are untimately beyond their capabilities.


Agree!! Early Years has moved on considerably and encouraging them to 'do childcare' is setting them up to fail!


Who is tired of hearing 'I couldn't get in to hairdressing' as a reason for choosing childcare! - to be compared to hairdressing (or actually, below it) is insulting (no offence to hairdressers though!) and symptomatic of how our sector is viewed...by professionals! - after all it's usually teachers, college tutors or careers advisers (all who I assume are well qualified) who direct these young people to caring courses


and to defend hairdressing: (and most jobs) all require a basic level of literacy/maths/speaking/writing so it's unacceptable really, in this day and age to be leaving school without these


I would like to see the government put money where opinions are and fund early years better/fully instead of expecting others to meet costs - they are quick to compare levels of ratio's to other European countries but not how the overall system operates - or their country's ethos in terms of respect, standards, ethics etc


Opinions on parenting blogs/sites are heavily against the new proposals so hopefully they won't stay around!

Edited by gingerbreadman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have discovered this remark from ASPECT, The EYP Union on Facebook:


Aspect EYPs I think part of the problem with today's proposals is that they side-step the issue of pay and conditions for EYPs, and for the new Early Years Teacher qualification. As neither have QTS, they are then not covered by the Teachers' Pay Scale.


Well I guess that tells us - There is still no intention to pay EYPs or ultimately EYTs a fair wage for the important job they do. - Exactly how little do they value us?

Edited by JulieD
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im on the fence too Sunnyday...there's pro's and cons....



I suppose when in doubt ask the question -


'What is in the children's best interest?'


What is 'BEST'...? Whose definition of best do you follow? Your own informed definition of 'BEST' and stick with it.


Be it a highly qualified team with EYPS, QTS, GCSE's, level 3 qualifications coming out their ears or a team that have none of these but are leaders in their field when it comes to cuddles and other softer qualities....


'What is in the child's best interest?'




..still pondering amidst all the upheaval......

Edited by Alabaloo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an EYP I spent two evening a couple of years ago talking to year nine students at a local college open evening. My role was to explain the types of roles they might have after completing a child care course. What I actually ended up doing was stressing to these lovely young ladies and gentlemen (yes there were one or two!) how important it was to do well in their GCSEs first. As this was an optional evening most of the young people and their parents were open to the idea of a solid academic foundation, they had chosen to come to the evening and those for whom the child care course would become the default option when all else was full were probably elsewhere.


Now my middle child is taking her options. Her wish to become an art therapist obviously requires art to be one of thos options. After careful consideration she thinks a GCSE in child development might be a useful and complementary option alongside art and the compulsory maths, English and science (and everything else). I wholeheartedly want to support this but my worry is how she will do if the rest of the cohort is of the calibre we have seen on recent school experience placements. I feel very torn.


Additionally, as one of those mums who volunteered and then somehow ended up training in early years, and having employed many in a similar position, I worry how exactly settings are going to be staffed in the future. Will we only have untrained, and therefore not full staff members, students who because of the need for training will not be earning very much and therefore probably still young and living with parents? What will happen to all the mums who are making career changes after having their own children? Those I have employed previously certainly could not afford to retrain while earning nothing. We might not have paid very highly but the ability to earn a small wage while retraining was the part that gave them that choice when their children reached the age they would otherwise have thought have returning to their pre-child work roles. One of the things parents liked about my previous setting was the wide range of ages of the staff, their varied backgrounds and experiences, and the mix certainly made for a stronger staff team. If all staff in future will be students and those recently trained (not that young staff don't have much to offer- quite the opposite) this staff diversity will be lost I fear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)