Major impact of qualifications on childcare Ofsted grades


Thu, 12 May 2011 16:17:00 BST

Significant investment in the childcare workforce is having a major impact in Barnsley.  Over the past three years, the government’s Graduate Leader Fund has encouraged practitioners to gain relevant qualifications from level 3 to Early Years Professional status.  Almost a third of full day care setting leaders in Barnsley are now at graduate level, many achieving this at the University of Huddersfield at University Campus Barnsley. 

A recent study conducted by Barnsley’s Early Childhood Services team correlated the level of qualifications with their Ofsted Grades, with interesting results. Almost two thirds of the day care settings achieving the highest Ofsted grades of ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ had more than 70% of their staff qualified to Level 3 and also a leader at level 4 and above. However, for settings achieving a lower ‘Satisfactory’ Ofsted grade this drops to just over a quarter of settings.

Linda Mathison, Childcare Services Manager of the Barnsley Early Childhood Services team, said “This is a fantastic achievement for Barnsley, as we started with a relatively new sector and a low baseline.  We have worked closely with the University of Huddersfield, who listened to our needs and specifically designed two foundation degrees, one for leaders and another for family support workers, incorporating child development and safeguarding, which are key issues.  We are currently supporting 126 practitioners financially with their degrees and we have been fortunate enough to be able to continue funding them in the forthcoming year.

This evidence clearly demonstrates the value of qualifications which ultimately impacts on the quality of care for children and young people, which in the long term will improve their life chances."

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