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Does the childcare workforce need to change? And should two year-olds be in schools?

Childcare workforce and school representatives will appear before the House of Lords Committee on Affordable Childcare on Wednesday 29 October, when they will discuss the pay, qualifications and status of the childcare workforce, and the role of schools in delivering early years education to children as young as two.

At 10.35am, the Committee will hear from Ben Thomas, National Officer for Early Years Education at UNISON. The Committee will be exploring issues such as:

  • what an ideal childcare workforce would look like in terms of qualifications, pay, status and conditions of employment;
  • how better pay and status for childcare and early years workers can be balanced with keeping the costs of childcare affordable; and
  • whether Government should pay for staff to gain qualifications, or just pay childcare providers better.

Following on, at 11.15am, the Committee will question Valentine Mulholland, Policy Adviser at the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), and Sarah Bagshaw, School Business Manager at St Bede Academy in Bolton.

Questions the Committee are likely to put to the witnesses include:

  • What is the role of early education in preparing children for school?
  • Is there a desire among schools to expand their provision of free early education?
  • Are schools the right place for early education and care for children aged 2 and up?

The evidence session will take place on Wednesday 29 October at 10.35am in Committee Room 4A of the House of Lords.

The session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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