By Deborah Lawson, Assistant General Secretary, Community union (Voice Section)
Our hope for 2022 is we can move forwards from the pandemic with a better future.
Our priorities will be those of our members, as highlighted in our appropriately named report, The Future of Education, where early years staff told us:
- they do not feel valued;
- pay in the sector is too low; and
- funding is inadequate and inconsistent.
On their behalf, we want to see:
- a return to learning through play;
- a focus on social skills and mental wellbeing;
- the free entitlement that is fixed, fair, properly funded and simple – to work for settings and parents;
- a fair wage for every worker; and
- career development for early years staff.
Early years professionals shouldn’t feel they have to leave the sector in order to make ends meet.
The new Education Secretary and his team seem to appreciate the challenges the sector faces, and we will continue to work with them to seek resolution to those problems.