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Education

Volume 724: debated on Tuesday 6 December 2022

Early Years Teacher Training

The following is an extract from Education questions on Monday 28 November 2022.

The Department has significantly expanded the number of fully funded initial teacher training places in early years for the next academic year, and it is reviewing the level-3 qualification criterion for early years, both of which are part of our package of £180 million-worth of support.

I recently visited Jelly Babies nursery at Longbridge Methodist church. [Interruption.] I did not eat any jelly babies on my visit, but I met the fantastic team who do so much to equip young children with new life skills. The Early Years Alliance is running its “We Are Educators” campaign, which I hope the Minister will support by recognising its work and the benefits for young children across the UK in general, and in Birmingham, Northfield in particular.

I know that my hon. Friend is a huge supporter of Jelly Babies, both the nursery and otherwise. The Government are supporting early years professionals with £180 million for qualifications and specific training, such as on dealing with challenging behaviour following the pandemic and on early communication.

[Official Report, 28 November 2022, Vol. 723, c. 648.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Education, the hon. Member for East Surrey (Claire Coutinho):

An error has been identified in the responses given to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Northfield (Gary Sambrook).

The correct responses should have been:

The Department has significantly expanded the number of fully funded initial teacher training places in early years for the next academic year, and it is reviewing the level-3 qualification criterion for early years, both of which are part of our package of up to £180 million-worth of support…

The Government are supporting early years professionals with up to £180 million for qualifications and specific training, such as on dealing with challenging behaviour following the pandemic and on early communication.

The following is an extract from Education questions on Monday 28 November 2022.

High-quality early years education is vital, and it is the best possible investment in our future—that includes both training and provision for all. Given that school budgets were protected in the autumn statement, where will the two years of real-terms funding cuts set for the Department for Education fall? Can the Minister confirm they will not fall on early years education?

As I said in answer to earlier questions, we put an extra £0.5 billion into the early years sector in the 2021 spending review to increase the hourly rate. We are also spending money on qualifications and training for teachers. This sector is very important to us, and we continue to consider all the ways we can support it.[Official Report, 28 November 2022, Vol. 723, c. 648.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Education, the hon. Member for East Surrey (Claire Coutinho):

An error has been identified in the response given to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Munira Wilson).

The correct response should have been:

As I said in answer to earlier questions, we put an extra £0.5 billion into the early years sector in the 2021 spending review to increase the hourly rate, split over the three-year spending review period. We are also spending money on qualifications and training for teachers. This sector is very important to us, and we continue to consider all the ways we can support it.

Accessible and Affordable Childcare

The following is an extract from Education questions on Monday 28 November 2022.

The Government are knowingly underfunding the entitlement to 15 or 30 hours of childcare by over £2 per hour, thereby forcing providers to cross-subsidise and leading to astronomical costs for parents. New Ofsted data shows that 4,000 childcare providers closed within the year to March 2022, thereby further limiting access to childcare. When parents are having to pay more for their childcare than on their rent or mortgage, and adults without children are saying that childcare costs are forcing them out of parenting and precluding them from that, does she agree that she and the Government are presiding over a broken childcare system?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that question. Childcare is of course enormously important, and it is this Conservative Government who have expanded the childcare offer successively over a number of years. Last year in the spending review, we set out an additional £500 million to come into the sector, and we are also supporting private providers with their energy bills this year.

[Official Report, 28 November 2022, Vol. 723, c. 637.]

Letter of correction from the Under-Secretary of State for Education, the hon. Member for East Surrey (Claire Coutinho):

An error has been identified in the response given to the hon. Member for Slough (Mr Dhesi).

The correct response should have been:

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that question. Childcare is of course enormously important, and it is this Conservative Government who have expanded the childcare offer successively over a number of years. Last year in the spending review, we set out an additional £500 million to come into the sector, split over the three-year spending review period, and we are also supporting private providers with their energy bills this year.