Our sector expertise | Early Years | NCFE

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Our sector expertise 

Sector point of view 

We believe that strengthening practitioner knowledge improves the collective standard of the entire early years and childcare sector, so we forge collaborative partnerships and join forces with other subject matter experts. 

One such example is our work with the Early Years Workforce Commission. Together, we undertake reviews of the workforce challenges facing the sector and develop comprehensive and workable solutions. The Early Years Workforce Commission meets regularly to focus on its goal, to ensure that the importance of the early years sector is recognised and that it offers a rewarding and attractive career path.  

Steering research to make positive change 

We work closely with Ceeda, the early years research organisation, to support its work influencing policy and strategic decisions in settings. An example of this collaboration is our part-funding of Ceeda’s Covid-19 Data Portal – a tracker to measure the real-time impact of the pandemic on the sector. This data has enabled providers to keep up with the rapidly changing situation and provided vital intelligence on what’s needed to help rebuild the sector’s workforce. 

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Our impact

T Levels 

We’re at the forefront of technical education, and we were selected by the government to spearhead the development of the qualifications that underpin the T Level in Education and Childcare. T Levels are high-quality, work focused alternatives to A Levels.  

The T Level in Education and Childcare was launched to students in September 2020, marking a revolution in technical education. Designed alongside employers to reflect industry needs, these two-year courses equip young people with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they need to progress into work or higher-level study.  

Save Our Early Years campaign 

We successfully led the Save Our Early Years campaign, to reinstate Functional Skills as an alternative qualification for Level 3 Early Years Educators.  

Thousands of childcare organisations, parents and educators supported the campaign, which called for one thing: a level playing field so that Functional Skills was accepted as an equivalent to count in the ratios for Level 3 Early Years Educators.  

After a year of intense campaigning, the GCSE-only policy was scrapped by the government, a move celebrated by the sector across the country.  

Organisations we work with

Research and opinion

We work with a range of experts in early years and childcare, sharing opinions and best practice.  

Case Study

The significance of play for holistic health and wellbeing 

With the pandemic impacting children’s opportunity to play, we backed the co-ordinated initiative #SummerOfPlay, which called for play to be prioritised to support children’s overall health and wellbeing. 

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