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Government changes Childcare Apprenticeship entry requirements

AELP | Association of Employment and Learning Providers

2 min read Partner content

The government has announced that it is changing its policy on GCSE requirements for childcare apprenticeships.

Previously it was insisting that apprentices needed to have achieved A-C grades in English and maths GCSEs prior to entry on to a childcare apprenticeship. Now attainment of them can be completed by the end of the programme.

However the notes of the DfE press release dated 1 July (http://bit.ly/1NuSCUN) state that attaining alternative Functional Skills will still not be acceptable under the new standard.

In response, AELP CEO Stewart Segal said:

“We are pleased that the government has listened to the strong lobby from childcare employers including the trailblazer group and AELP to review the English and maths requirements for the advanced Apprenticeship framework. The government has now accepted that the achievement of GCSE English and maths grade A to C will be a requirement on exit rather than on entry.

“AELP had provided evidence that this proposal was creating a real barrier to entry for many young people which had reduced the number of entrants to the sector when employers needed more recruits than ever, particularly in the light of the government’s plans to double the amount of free childcare for working parents.

“This decision is welcome but we believe that the drive to improve English and maths should include functional skills as a high quality alternative to GCSEs.

“AELP agrees with the drive to improve standards but it is numeracy and literacy that is the real need for childcare employees. GCSEs are broader than functional skills but include some elements that are not essential for those teaching young children. Functional skills are very focussed on the practical skills and knowledge that will support young people. We believe that there is now a lot of evidence that employers have confidence in functional skills and we will work with the trailblazer groups and the Education and Training Foundation to build that evidence base.”

Subject to approval, the new apprenticeship standard for childcare will come into effect on 1 August 2015.

Read the most recent article written by AELP - ‘Keep the Apprenticeship levy simple’, urge training providers

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