children playing

Building an integrated workforce for a long-term vision of universal early education and care

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Leading the vision policy papers: No. 3
Cameron, Claire
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2004

Excerpts from the press release:

This report calls for a new type of worker to staff the growing number of integrated services that combine education and care for children. Workers should consider the whole child, body, mind, feelings and creativity.

Dr Cameron argues that we need to think about the type of professional we want to work with children, and says that the current worker model is unsustainable in the long term. She calls for a dramatic improvement in training and pay for workers carrying out one of the most important roles in society, to create a workforce on a par with school teachers in terms of training and employment conditions.

The current workforce is predominantly white, female and young. The average gross pay of a childcare worker is £7,800 a year, compared to £22,662 for nursery and primary teachers. Childcare supervisors earn £5.50 to £6 an hour and other staff earn between £4.80 and £5.30 an hour.