Many nursery schools and early learning establishments already have high quality staff that are drawn to the pre school sector not through any financial incentive but mainly through a love of children and a desire to help them learn. These qualities are rightly sort after in nursery staff but the fact is the pre school industry still suffers from a lack of high quality candidates due to the remuneration packages available. For this reason the first 3 tips are based around funding for nursery schools and the money available to the pre school sector.
The first tip would be to combine the love nursery staff have for teaching and working with children with better qualified nursery staff. Some of the most successful nursery schools in the world are in Scandinavia and in those countries, nursery staff are of an equal standing as teachers. Contrast this to nursery staff in the UK where less than 8% of staff are educated to university level and you will notice a major difference.
So with this shortfall in degree standard staff in the pre school sector what can be done to increase the calibre of nursery staff? One way would certainly be to pay staff in the nursery sector more money. And whilst the best teachers are not necessarily motivated by money, it would certainly help more degree educated consider the pre school route to a career rather than choosing industries such as banking, insurance or other financial services routes.
So if we want better staff and we want to encourage them with higher wages how is this going to be achieved? Well the fact is any increase in funding is going to have to come from the government and this may well mean either fund raising through increased taxes or redistribution of existing educational funds and budgets. In the UK more money is spent on secondary education rather than pre school and nursery education and yet if we invested more in children up to the age of 5 years old, many good traits and qualities would have already been established and therefore less money would have to be spent on dealing with unruly children at secondary level.
Top tip number 4 for improving our pre school system is to actually get parents more involved with the development of their children. The sad fact is many parents simply do not have the time to dedicate to their own children which means they rely totally on nursery staff for their under 5 year olds development. Structured parental programmes which would give parents advice and the skills to develop their children at home could have a massive affect.
And this approach to learning and working together brings us onto the fifth and final way in which nursery school education can be improved upon and that is for nurseries and schools to learn from what already works and roll this out across the board. Teaching done well works and so the most successful teaching methods need to be adopted by all nurseries.
Children learn best when they are engaged and taught to think. Combine this style of learning with better nursery staff, higher wages, better parenting and all pre school learning establishments teaching in the best possible way and our nurseries will improve and so will our children’s chances of success.