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News

Welsh Government wants nurseries in Wales to have highly skilled bilingual workforce

The Welsh Government has published its draft ten-year plan outlining its aim to have a ‘highly skilled workforce to improve early years education in Wales’.

The draft plan for the early years, childcare and play workforce in Wales states that in 10 years time, the Welsh Government wants to have a highly skilled workforce that is highly regarded, understands how children learn and develop, structures activities so children develop to their full potential, are proactive learners in their own right and is bilingual.

Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills, said: “Our plans for the early years, childcare and play sector are ambitious, but essential if we want to improve the quality of care we offer our children and to fully realise the potential of this committed workforce.”

He also expanded on the Welsh Government’s wish to develop a bilingual workforce, so parents and carers have more choice over whether their child speaks English or Welsh while at nursery.

To achieve this, the Welsh Government wants to encourage those who wish to improve their skills in the Welsh language and offer training to increase the confidence of workers in English-medium settings in using basic Welsh in their day-to-day routine.

Deborah Lawson, general secretary of Voice, which represents childcare, early years, teaching and education staff across the UK, said: “We welcome this announcement because it recognises the crucial importance of the early years and early years professionals in children’s development. The early years are indeed the foundation of all future learning and development.”

Director for Wales, Nick Griffin, added: “We are pleased that Mr Lewis recognises that early years professionals ‘play such a key role in supporting children during these important years’, that they should ‘receive the right level of support’ and that they should be ‘highly motivated and skilled and feel that they are valued’.

“However, if these proposals are to succeed, they must include not only training and professional development but also a proper career and salary structure for these dedicated and hard working, but underpaid and under-recognised, professionals.”

To view the consultation go to http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/education/10-year-plan-for-the-early-years-childcare-and-play-workforce/?lang=en

The consultation closes on 15 December 2014.

October 2014