My Department has engaged with early years employers to help them design three high-quality apprenticeships—early years educator; practitioner and lead practitioner. Since 2018-19, there have been more than 26,000 starts on early years apprenticeships. Students can also study a T-level, a new gold-standard technical qualification in education and childcare, which provides a route into either work or further study.
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his commitment to making sure that every baby gets the best start to life. Does he agree that by creating more of a mixed-skill workforce we will be able to provide the continuity of care that every family wants when they have a new baby?
I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend’s considerable expertise and work in this area, and I agree with her on this, which is why we are investing £153 million in training early years staff to support learning and development, and £300 million to transform Start4Life and help family services. That £300 million is going to include funding for trials for an innovative workforce, and I look forward to talking to her about that.