Early Years & Childcare | NCFE | NCFE

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CACHE Early years and childcare

As the market-leader in the sector, our early years and childcare qualifications are the hallmark of quality, and assure employers that their workforce has the right knowledge, skills and behaviours to excel in their professional responsibilities.  

We’re always committed to modernising and revolutionising the sector to empower learners with the skills they’ll need to succeed. That’s why we’re delighted to have been selected to support the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education by developing the technical qualification which underpins the T Level in Education and Childcare.  

We seek feedback from subject specialists and industry experts when we develop all our qualifications. Our mission is to create purposeful and influential early years and childcare qualifications that fill skills gaps as they emerge – for the benefit of our future workforce. 

Opportunities in early years and childcare

A skills survey by Ceeda in 2019 revealed that more than one in two settings had skills gaps in their existing workforce – over four times the 13 per cent of employers who report this across the wider economy. With so many vacancies to be filled in this critical sector, and ongoing opportunities to progress, working as an early years practitioner can be a rewarding vocation for life. 

We’re committed to empowering everyone who wants a career in early years and childcare to progress towards it, which is why we believe it’s important to address the gender balance in the sector and support more men to enter childcare. Our Careers Toolkit, which we developed in collaboration with leading academics, sector experts and employers, includes a section devoted to research on men’s impact in the childcare sector, as well as reflections from men working in this field. 

Collaborating for success

We’re extremely proud of our work with Save the Children to support the development of child protection systems abroad. To date, we’ve delivered training programmes in countries like India and Myanmar, while also training Save the Children staff. 

Jane Calder, Save the Children’s Senior Child Protection Advisor in Asia and the Pacific said: 

“We’re excited about this partnership and see real potential for a far-reaching qualification scheme within Save the Children. This will allow our staff to be recognised for the great work they do, and ultimately will help lead to children being better protected from violence. We’d like to thank NCFE for their work and for sharing our vision and mission.”  

We’re also proud members of the Communication Trust Consortium, which helps children with speech, language, and communication needs (SLCN). Communication is essential for developing friendships and learning life skills, but as many as 1.4 million children and young people have needs in this area. With this partnership, we aim to address this to improve education access for everybody. 

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Embedding sustainability into early years

Our sector specialists, in collaboration with Dr Diane Boyd of Liverpool John Moores University, have created an early childhood education for sustainability resource, aimed at embedding sustainability and STEM into early years experiences for young children.

The resource aims to support practitioners working directly with young children, students during their training, and parents with young children. This holistic approach to entrenching sustainability into early years education will help to secure long-term impact. Through providing innovative, yet simple and straightforward ideas, practitioners will more easily be able to make sustainability a central part of their practice.

View the resource