To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential, what estimate he has made of the potential effect that increasing the number of early years practitioners in private, voluntary and independent nurseries will have on closing the early word gap.
In our ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’ publication we set out our ambition to close the word gap in early years between disadvantaged children and their peers. This included actions to improve the quality of early years provision but did not include a commitment to increase early years practitioner numbers.
The regulatory standards for registered providers caring for children from birth to five are set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, including the staff: child ratios and qualification levels for staff. It is a matter for private, voluntary and independent nurseries, as the employers of early year practitioners, to decide the staffing levels they wish to employ within the statutory guidelines.