It is widely accepted that the early years of a child’s life are crucial for their development. During this time, children learn at an astonishing rate, laying the foundation for the rest of their lives. As such, it is essential that they receive a quality education which provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Compelling evidence suggests that this can only be achieved if there is a well-qualified workforce in place, who are skilled and knowledgeable in child development.
But what does well qualified mean? For several years Willows decided that to provide a high-quality care and education to pre-schoolers, then a minimum level 6 qualification in Early Years, or preferably QTS, is required to ensure that practitioners have the necessary knowledge and skills to support the individual needs of each child.
Sadly, low wages, poor working conditions and being undervalued mean that many early years settings are unable to recruit the calibre of staff to provide a quality learning experience for their pre-schoolers.
This has a knock-on effect on children’s development, impacting their ability to learn and achieve later in life. Since 2009, Willows has invested in our early year’s workforce, to ensure that all children can reach their full potential.
Furthermore, Willows is committed to supporting practitioners in continuing their professional development, so that they can provide the best possible care and education for the children in their setting. This is evidenced by our unique in-house coaching of the Willows Way, ensuring that every child has the best possible start in life.