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Childcare demand to hot up;FE Focus

A huge rise in demand for childcare training courses as a result of the Government's national childcare strategy was predicted this week, writes Justina Hart.

The Green Paper, launched last month by David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, plans for increases in nursery places, after-school clubs and training and regulation of childcare workers.

Richard Dorrance, chief executive of the Council for Awards in Children's Care and Education (CACHE), said it would have a huge impact on training. "Over the next five years, I predict places will become heavily oversubscribed."

Two-and-a-half years ago there were nearly three applicants for each place on a CACHE course. Now the demand is expected to become more intense.

The Kids Club Network, which helps set up out-of-school clubs, says 100,000 extra childcare staff are needed. The network is not convinced that colleges can meet this demand.

The awarding body, which covers 700 private and FE colleges offering the Diploma in Nursery Nursing (NNEB) and NVQs in childcare and education, has seen a rise of 13,000 registrations since 1994.

CACHE's establishment of the Early Years National Training Organisation in September will also have "a tremendous impact", he said.

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