Early-years expansion will highlight staff shortage

Tes Editorial

I would like to correct the mistaken assumption in your article "where will a workforce come from?" (TES, June 30) that classes of four-year-olds do not need teachers. Of course they do, and these teachers must be early-years specialists.

What I actually said was that if the Government goes ahead with its promise to expand early education largely through the voluntary and private sectors, rather than through nursery education, then they are unlikely to require each new group to recruit a teacher. Given the very limited availability of NVQs in child care and education, any expansion will exacerbate the current shortage of trained and qualified staff, whether teachers or other early-years educators working in nurseries and playgroups.

GILLIAN PUGH Director, Early Childhood Unit National Children's Bureau 8 Wakley Street, London EC1

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