Imagine a scenario where the skills and qualifications of staff in a low cost setting are generally lower than in the rest of the sector. If the work involved was something that is nice to have, but not likely to create any problems for those requiring the work to be carried out, it might seem profligate in time of financial challenge for the Government to choose to fund the work at the level required by the providers which demonstrate the highest skills and the best qualifications. After all this is where people with the resources to pay a bit extra can reassure themselves that they are getting the best provision, even if they are a little poorer for doing so. However if the compromise between skills and cost is in an area which can leave society and residents worse off, then the economy, no matter how appealing will ultimately be a false one. This would be a particular challenge in an environment where the Government has been demanding the higher skills and qualifications to be provided by the workforce’s in question.
According to this report, in August the Government decided to level down the funding for early years providers, even though it was recognised that the low quality provision offered predominately by the private sector was allowing them the drive costs down. The impact is that both charities and local government provided nurseries and preschools will be unable to survive in the long term. Their willingness to ensure that staff are well qualified and properly supervised will be challenged as the funding levels are set at what the cheapest providers can offer. If this was the approach being taken by brain surgeons or senior people in our major industries, there would be an outcry. However because this only affects children and predominately those from poor backgrounds, no one apparently is bothered apart from people within the sector and thankfully a small number of politicians such as Lucy Powell.