Nursery workforce surveys and reports 2019

NDNA has surveyed members in England, Scotland and Wales about their early years workforce. Scroll down for the results of all three surveys.

NDNA Workforce Survey for Wales 2019 results

Our latest NDNA Workforce Survey for Wales shows private and voluntary nursery employers are struggling to recruit Level 3 staff – who are the people most likely to leave their jobs.
Key points include: Man with children

  • Two-thirds (66.1%) of respondents said they had issues recruiting Level 3 Qualified staff and 26.5% report difficulties recruiting Level 2 qualified staff 
  • Level 3 staff make up 58.9% of the overall workforce but represented 64% of the total number of leavers
  • At other levels of qualification, employers reported fewer issues 
  • Over 83% of the workforce in non-maintained settings have Level 3 qualifications or higher in line with the National Minimum Standards for Regulated Childcare (NMS) and staff with Level 3 qualifications make up 59% of the workforce
  • Turnover of staff is an issue in Wales with a rate of 19.4% costing the entire childcare sector an estimated £59.6m 
  • Due to other costs rising, early years settings are planning to keep staff training costs at similar levels to last year. If changes are planned they are more likely to reduce than increase training budgets
  • Business rates relief is helping the sector remain sustainable, keep costs lower or invest in improving quality.
Download the full report and highlights summary report for Wales in both Welsh and English languages below:

NDNA Workforce Survey for Scotland 2019 results

Our latest NDNA Workforce Survey for Scotland shows private and third sector nursery employers are facing a crisis as their staff leave for better-paid jobs in the public sector.
Key points include:

  • Staff are leaving for jobs in the public sector which offer better remuneration
  • Staff turnover is as high as 29%, much higher than the UK average – estimated to cost the sector £68.4 million in the last year
  • 71% of employers struggle to recruit staff at Practitioner level, 48% struggle to replace Lead Practitioners
  • 62% face significant challenges to retain their existing staff
  • Private partner providers deliver more than half of all ELC places and offer a quarter of the Government’s funded ELC
  • 42% of private nurseries are not involved in the “phasing-in” of 1140 hours
  • 66% of the workforce are less than 35 years old.

Download the full report for Scotland below:

NDNA Workforce Survey for England 2019 results

Our latest NDNA Workforce Survey for England shows nurseries and practitioners facing a full-blown crisis.
Key points include:

  • Turnover is higher than average with the majority of staff leaving the sector qualified at Level 3 for better paid jobs in retail
  • A picture of a younger, less qualified, less experienced workforce emerges; with higher skilled experienced staff leaving the workforce mid-career or approaching retirement
  • Staff leaving the sector are mainly heading to retail with salaries and policy changes being the main reasons given 
  • Nurseries are struggling to recruit – especially at Level 3 and increasingly at Level 2 
  • In terms of the EU workforce, Brexit is having a small impact but in the context of a workforce crisis it is an impact the sector cannot afford 
  • Staffing costs are rising at above inflation rates and with funding remaining stagnant this is putting real strain on nurseries’ abilities to recruit and retain the high quality workforce they want and need 
  • As budgets are squeezed training and ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is suffering, meaning nurseries will continue to struggle in their efforts to up-skill the workforce they have.

Our 2019 Workforce Survey Report for Wales will be published in the coming weeks.

Download the full report and highlights summary report for England below:

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