This report focuses on recruitment and retention of ECEC staff, and examines the best ways to educate and train this staff, both through initial training and continuing professional development. It welcomes the fact that the vast majority of ECEC staff enjoy working with young children and know they make a very important contribution to children’s lives. However the sector is expanding, the expectations on staff are growing, and there are increasing opportunities to work with young children in a wider range of occupations. In this context, the report looks at how the ECEC sector can review its own practice and arrangements to ensure it attracts a sufficient number of well qualified and well-motivated staff. This report summarises the available research and looks at many of the approaches which have been used to strengthen national, regional or local practice.
The report also recognises that the quality of ECEC provision is highly dependent on the professionalism, competence and commitment of staff working in the sector – and it is therefore increasingly important that there is continued support for staff training and development. This report therefore proposes a set of core competences for ECEC assistants, core practitioners and ECEC leaders. In addition, it looks at the wide range of practices which are currently being used to strengthen the initial and continuing education and training of ECEC staff.