Government adviser says leadership is key to quality childcare

July 9th, 2014

A government adviser on childcare has said that leadership is a more important factor than the qualifications of staff in providing quality childcare to disadvantaged two-year-olds.

recent report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) called for a minimum Level 3 child development qualification for all staff working with disadvantaged two-year-olds, and for 30% of staff to hold a relevant degree qualification.

However, James Hempsall, a government adviser on childcare and national director of Achieving Two Year Olds has stated that effective leadership and good management of settings are a more significant factor than the qualifications of staff.

Hempsall currently oversees the government’s free childcare scheme for disadvantaged two-year-olds and said that his experience of the scheme does not necessarily suggest that quality is directly linked to qualifications of staff.

Hempsall leant his support to staff aiming for at least a Level 3 qualification and backed the drive for a graduate-led sector but also noted the value of experience of working in quality settings under effective leadership.

Currently around 15% of staff working with disadvantaged two-year-olds hold a specialist childcare degree, with 78% qualified to Level 3.

Another recent report by the University of Oxford also drew a parallel between quality of service and graduate staff, this time looking at settings working with three- and four-year-olds.

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