NDNA report launch: Annual Workforce Survey

NDNA report launch: Annual Workforce Survey - March 2, 2018

  • Posted by Fran Saggers in Uncategorized
  • March 2, 2018
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Today NDNA has launched its annual Workforce Survey results for England. Please see the press release and report here.

The survey finds that there is a retention and recruitment crisis in early years, with nurseries reporting that a large number of staff are leaving the sector (particularly at level 3 and above). Key findings include:


  • Eighty six percent (86%) of nurseries have lost staff this year.
  • It is better qualified staff who are leaving with almost 20% fewer Level 3 qualified practitioners within the day nursery sector than compared to 2015.
  • Of those Level 3 staff who are leaving or who have left, 80% have gone to jobs outside the sector, with almost half of graduates and early years teachers following suit.
  • Two thirds of nursery managers say that they are unable to recruit suitable replacements for the qualified staff they have lost due to a lack of candidates.
  • Sixty nine percent (69%) of Level 3 leavers move out of early years because they have lost passion for working in the sector due to policy changes.
  • Fifty one percent (51%) of those entering as unqualified workers or apprentices have left or not been retained as they were unsuited to the role.
  • A third of employers are limiting CPD to mandatory training only due to budget constraints as a result of poor funding levels.


NDNA is calling for urgent action from government:


  • The Department for Education (DfE) must undertake a thorough and rigorous assessment of the cost of delivery for early years settings. This must be done in partnership with nurseries, include a representative sample of the sector and include site visits in order to properly understand the cost pressures settings are working under.
  • Early years ‘free’ entitlement funding needs to be urgently reviewed to enable settings to recruit and retain skilled staff.
  • The current workforce strategy must be reviewed urgently to address both short and long term recruitment and retention pressures.
  • Urgent action is need by Government in recruitment and retention of the workforce with financial support through an Early Years Workforce investment fund.  This must include a strong campaign to retain and attract high quality staff into the sector.
  • Government must take action to ensure quality is not undermined as a result of minimal CPD and recruitment of non-qualified/low qualified practitioners on outcomes for children.

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