A major new national recruitment campaign has been launched by the Department for Education today (Friday 2 February) alongside a trial of £1,000 cash sign-on bonuses, to give nurseries and early years providers the workers they need and offer more childcare places for parents.
The recruitment drive comes as the latest data shows that 102,480 children have been registered on the system, reflecting the strength of demand across the country before the first phase of the largest ever expansion in free childcare kicks in from April.
The “Do Something Big” recruitment campaign is to encourage people to start a career working with small children – one part of this government’s ongoing sector support to ensure providers are in the best position to deliver the places parents need from April, September this year and next.
The campaign will look to boost recruitment across the sector by highlighting the vast array of childcare career routes and progression opportunities offering on-the-job training, flexible hours, and, most importantly, the chance to shape and support young lives.
A £1,000 sign-on bonus for childcare workers is also being launched today to increase capacity, tackle unemployment, and offer more childcare places.
The trial – which will cover 20 local authorities across the UK (including Knowsley) – will give new-starters and returners a tax-free cash payment shortly after they take up post.
Knowsley Council is now working with the Department for Education on an implementation plan, with further details of the £1,000 incentive scheme due to be shared with early years providers later this month. The payment is a one-off payment, to be paid following a 3-month probationary period for those new recruits in a childcare setting. Roles can include Early Years’ Practitioners and Nursery Nurses.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I’m delighted to be part of the trial. We have a fantastic early years offer here in Knowsley with our services judged to be Outstanding or Good by Ofsted. The Early Years’ sector is such a rewarding career choice. I hope that we are able to attract more people into the sector, providing invaluable support to a child’s development in their early years.”