Quality of nursery staff under scrutiny

People with little or no experience are being attracted to nursery
nursing because of the low-entry level qualification, a leading
nursery provider warned last week.

The low qualification meant that “unsuitable applicants” were
applying to become nursery nurses, said Michael Fallon, managing
director of nursery chain Just Learning.

The entry level qualification for nursery nurses is NVQ level 2 in
early years care and education. There were complaints across the
child care sector that it was not set at NVQ level 3 when national
standards were introduced in 2001.

Also, Sure Start projects were poaching the staff of private
nurseries by offering them better wages, Fallon told a conference
last week organised by care consultant Laing & Buisson.

He called for the government to be aware of its powerful position
in the sector. “It has got to be careful that it does not distort
our market and make it more difficult to recruit,” he said.

Nick Tooze, deputy director of the Sure Start Unit, said that he
could not envisage a situation where all child care was provided by
the state and that there would always be a role for private

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