Nurseries should employ at least one early years trained graduate to improve literacy, according to a new report from the Read On. Get On. coalition.
In a new report released today (9th April), entitled The Power of Reading, the group is calling for the next government to ensure that all nurseries are led by a qualified teacher. It says only 13% of staff in independent nurseries have a relevant degree and 11,000 more graduates are needed, especially in nurseries that serve disadvantaged areas.
Dame Julia Cleverdon, chair of the campaign, said: “It’s time to make nurseries the frontline in tackling social mobility in this country. Every child deserves a fair start in life - regardless of the wealth of their family. By providing quality and qualified teaching in every nursery, we can ensure every child arrives at school with the building blocks in place to learn and succeed.”
To incentivise nurseries to employ graduates, the government should increase the early years pupil premium funding to £1,300 for all three- and four-year-olds in nurseries with a qualified teacher, according to the report.
Read On. Get On. quoted research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which suggests among children from poor backgrounds, the best readers at age 10 go on to earn 20% more per hour as adults than those with the poorest reading skills.
The coalition was launched last year by organisations including Save the Children, Booktrust and the Publishers Association to tackle what it called a "reading crisis" among British children.