A new research has shown that childcare workers in England earn very low income despite the significant amount of work in the sector.
According to the new research, an eighth of childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour. The low pay, as well as the lack of development in childcare, has negatively impacted the sector.
The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) report has warned that the increasing instability of the early years workforce might increase the turnover rate hence reduce the quality of work and disadvantage children`s outcome.
The interim co-chair of SMC, Steven Cooper said: “The early years workforce is vital in helping to narrow the development gaps between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and privileged one.
“We must do everything we can to ensure that childminders and nursery workers are valued more by ensuring we pay them a decent wage, give them a proper career structure and ensure their workload is reasonable.”
A number of concerns have been raised over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic which is threatening the survival of many nurseries and early years settings, increasing problems facing the sector.
Dr Sara Bonetti, report author and the director of early years at EPI, said: “This research highlights the multiple barriers that early years workers face on a daily basis, with low pay, lack of career options and negative perceptions of their profession holding them back. The pandemic now threatens to exacerbate many of these problems.”
The SMC called on the government to come up with a comprehensive strategy for the childcare sector, including a clear training pathway and workforce registry with professional development at each stage.