Children’s centres plans emerge

Qualified teachers with early years training or experience are set
to head the government’s children’s centres.

The Sure Start Unit plans to employ teachers in senior management
positions in the centres to ensure children have their activities
planned and led by a professional with an early years teaching
qualification. The teachers will be employed on a minimum of a
half-time basis, but this is expected to be exceeded in many

However, delegates at a conference on children’s centres this week
expressed concern about the absence of any mention of funding to
match the move.

“There is still an issue over how these teachers are going to be
funded,” said Gillian Pugh, chief executive of children’s charity
Coram Family.

She said that, although the exact amount of money for children’s
centres was not known, it would be a lot less than that previously
made available for early excellence centres and this would create
“real challenges”.

She said she believed it was “workforce issues” and confusion over
the type of training for children’s centres’ staff that were behind
the delay of the long-awaited green paper on children at risk.

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