Nadhim Zahawi responds to Parliamentary Question regarding NDNA survey

Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi has responded to a Parliamentary Question about whether he planned to revise the government’s Workforce Strategy as a result of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)’s workforce survey results.

Mr Zahawi responded to Tulip Siddiq’s question by saying that government will consider NDNA’s survey report and that they are committed to supporting the early years workforce.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “The Minister’s response to Tulip Siddiq’s parliamentary question has not gone far enough in seeking to find a solution to this very real staffing crisis the early years sector faces.

“The government’s Workforce Strategy was published last year but we have seen no tangible measures put in place yet. On its own, this strategy is not sufficient to solve this massive problem which nurseries now face. It is vital that the sector gets some support to develop more qualified staff to replace those who have left because this is a real threat to nurseries’ sustainability.

“Nurseries are having to rely on agency staff which does not give consistency of care for children and also increases their staffing costs. 

“NDNA would like to see what commitment and support for workforce recruitment and development the Minister is talking about. We have provided recommendations that the Minister needs to seriously consider. We will continue to raise this issue at the very highest level until we see a real improvement for our members.”

The original question tabled by Ms Siddiq read:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to revise the Government’s Early Years Workforce Strategy following the findings of the National Day Nurseries Association 2017-18 workforce survey.

The Minister’s response was:

Delivery of the commitments in the workforce strategy to support workforce recruitment and development is underway. The department has consulted on criteria for new, more robust, level 2 qualifications and is working with stakeholders to finalise these. Stakeholders are also working with the department to develop career pathways information to support careers advice, recruitment and staff development.
Early years providers are responsible for building and supporting their workforce, but the government is committed to continuing to work with the sector to review the challenges they face, and to collaborating to identify and implement solutions.
The department will consider the survey of childcare employers and employees conducted by the National Day Nurseries Association alongside other evidence, including nationally representative surveys of parents and providers.