Nursery Staff Pay vs Qualification

The NDNA have conducted a survey involving nursery staff. The survey found that there is a  staff supply crisis. Due to low pay, poor quality applicants and changes to rules over GCSEs a lot of existing staff are leaving to take better paid jobs in schools and even supermarkets.


A third of respondents said that there were not enough applicants for level 3 jobs, this isn't serve well for the Government's plan to increase free hours for three and four-year-olds to 30 a week for working parents.

Mangers of nurseries said that the ‘most common barrier’ to effective recruitment for level 3 qualified staff was a that the majority of applicants lacked the required grade C in GCSE maths and English.

43 per cent of nurseries were unable to find apprentices with the right level of qualifications. Entry rules for level 3 apprentices are going to get tougher in August, you won't be able to start a Government-funded apprenticeship as having maths and English GCSE will be essential.

We found one tweet that summed up pay vs qualification quite well.





The NDNA’s chief executive, Purnima Tanuku, said, ‘We’re seeing situations in which lower-grade staff who picked childcare as their career of choice are leaving because they can earn more at employers like supermarkets that offer more family-friendly hours and less pressure.

‘We are seeing Early Years Teachers (EYT) moving to school nursery settings for better pay and shorter hours. Nurseries would love to pay their staff more but funding shortfalls constrain what they can afford.’

The study also found that the prospect of progress on in nursries is small. ‘Employers reported that a significant proportion of the existing workforce is unable to progress to level 3’, the report stated.

While the survey indicated that 63 per cent of the workforce currently has a level 3 qualification, it also showed that the proportion of settings employing staff with graduate level qualifications has increased to 88 per cent from 80 per cent in 2014.

Ms Tanuku added, ‘The nursery sector workforce is committed to becoming better qualified and higher in quality. But more action is needed from the Government to support nurseries in meeting the challenges ahead.’

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