A new campaign has been launched today to encourage more young people to consider a career in childcare.
Inspiring a Future in Childcare led by childcare experts Tinies, and supported by organisations such as the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), Pre-School Learning Alliance, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), the Department for Education, the Careers Development Institute and the Education and Employers Charity.
Amanda Coxen, Director of Tinies, says: “The rising number of parents returning to work after having a baby has led to a massive deficit in the amount of skilled childcare professionals, and the industry just can’t keep up. Parents are crying out for help, particularly as the summer months arrive when children enjoy the lengthy school holidays – and parents are having to cope with the struggle of balancing work and family with nowhere to turn.
“Knowing that your child is well looked after whilst you are out at work is invaluable and that’s why we’ve teamed up with a number of schools, colleges, career advisors, nurseries and the Government to look at ways to encourage more people, particularly the young, to be aware of the opportunities that exist within the sector.”
The campaign aims to target youngsters who are still in school and are considering their career options. It wants to raise awareness of the opportunities available to find a rewarding career, that allows them to make a difference in a child’s life, and may even provide them with opportunities to travel. In order to do this, Tinies will be calling on their network of nannies and professional childcare staff, as well as supporters of their campaign, to take part in careers events and occupational health talks up and down the country – particularly aimed at children in years 9 and 10 (and the Scottish equivalent).
Tinies says childcare recruitment challenges were exacerbated in 2014 when the Government introduced a requirement demanding that every candidate seeking a childcare qualification should hold Maths and English to GCSE level. In 2017, after lengthy debate and campaigning, the Government’s Workforce Strategy 2017 amended this rule, instead prioritising the need for functional skills in the hope that more young childcarers will be encouraged into the profession and be able to progress their careers.
Another factor that affects childcare recruitment is the expansion of the Government’s free childcare offering for three and four year olds. Tinies says 30 free hours a week for working parents could mean that nurseries struggle to recruit enough qualified staff to meet the extra demand for places. It adds that, for parents who require nannies, there is an ever shrinking pool of quality childcarers to do these roles.