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Nurseries: Qualifications

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to increase the number of individuals possessing level three and level two qualifications for running play and child care groups. (129290)

In our 10-year strategy for childcare, ‘Choice for parents, the best start for children’ published in December 2004 and in our response to the Children’s Workforce Strategy consultation published in February 2006, we set out our commitment to establishing a better qualified and more professional early years workforce. To help achieve this, we have introduced a £250 million Transformation Fund aimed at improving the quality of early-years provision without the cost of doing so being passed on to parents.

Between 2006 and 2008, a significant part of this Transformation Fund is being spent on increasing the number of early-years workers with at least a level three qualification. This fund adds to existing funding to local authorities and the Learning and Skills Council being used to increase the number of those with level 2 qualifications and to develop the early-years workforce more generally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will take steps to ensure that playgroup qualification courses place appropriate emphasis upon work-based training. (129291)

It is for the appropriate Sector Skills Council to specify the content of training courses. However, I can give an assurance that most of the courses available to those working in playgroups do involve work-based training.