EYFS profile 2016-17

The latest figures from the Department for Education show some improvements but also some decreases in performance in key areas for children 2016–17.Stella Ziolkowski

Stella Ziolkowski, Director of Quality and Workforce Development at National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said: “These figures sadly show government childcare policy is putting quantity ahead of quality.

“Increased investment and 15 hours of funded childcare for threes and fours during this period made no positive difference to the children in many key areas of their learning, particularly reading, writing and numbers.

“In many of these key areas, boys are not catching up with girls’ progress and the inequality gap between disadvantaged children and their peers has even risen slightly from last year.

“The hourly funding rate is too low and business costs too high for providers to be able to replace graduates and higher qualified staff once they leave. Our members are telling us they cannot replace their highest qualified staff members and some are even making teachers redundant due to the losses they are incurring.

“According to our recent research, 57% of English nurseries expect to make a loss or break even, demonstrating financial resources to invest in staff training and development are impossible. As a result, our young children are being taught by a less qualified workforce on low pay with little incentive to progress.

“Government needs to turn this around now. They must focus on the quality of early education by investing sufficiently in funded childcare to enable nurseries to develop well-qualified staff and reward them appropriately.

“The government also needs to bolster its new workforce strategy with real investment to attract the right calibre of people into the early years sector.”

Read the full DfE report here