27th August 2019 All Posts Guest Blog

From Evidence to Action

The sector is coming together to tackle recruitment challenges, with a wide-ranging research project looking at awareness and perceptions of early education and childcare across the generations. 

Building on discussions at a recent workforce round-table hosted by Ceeda, the ‘What is EY?’ project will deliver much-needed insight into how the sector is perceived today, and how best to communicate the rewards and benefits it offers in the future.  

Ceeda’s independent About EY evidence base shows one in four providers have hard to fill vacancies, treble the figure for all employers of 8%. As competition in the labour market intensifies, urgent action is needed to increase the pool of talented individuals considering early years as their career of first-choice. 

Any strong communication campaign starts with a thorough understanding of target audiences – who they are, what they think, what influences them and what might attract them to the sector. The ‘What is EY?’ project will deliver this insight and provide a much-needed launch-pad to raise funds for a future national communications campaign. 

Dr Jo Verrill, MD at Ceeda says: 

Ceeda about early years

“Great things happen when early years colleagues come together, with many brilliant ideas being discussed at our recent workforce round-table. Thanks to the generosity and vision of project funders, we are thrilled to take forward this exciting project which will reveal how the sector can best communicate what it is, what it does, and what it has to offer people from a range of different backgrounds and circumstances. This is a vital first step towards a national communications campaign, and one which puts the sector firmly in the driving seat.”  

Funded by the Childbase Partnership, Cache, Connect Childcare and the Early Years Alliance, the project will gather the views of:  

  • The current early years workforce and sector employers (what got you into childcare, why do you stay, what would attract more people like you)
  • The wider labour market (adults in work, looking for work, caring for family full-time or in  early retirement etc.)
  • Future entrants to the labour market and those who influence them (e.g. school pupils, students, parents, careers advisers, teachers, tutors).

Emma Rooney, Managing Director at the Childbase Partnership says: 

“Childbase Partnership has always prioritized effective research and analysis as the basis for informed decision-making in an uncertain and volatile sector. We are proud to support Ceeda and sponsor this important research project which gives Early Years providers the opportunity to share expertise and ideas, and the quality research and analysis needed to innovatively, and collectively, meet sector challenges.” 

Fieldwork gets underway in September and will use a wide range of methods to tap into the views of different audiences. Register for Ceeda’s newsletter to find out more about the project and how you can get involved. 

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About the Author

About CEEDA Established in 1999, Ceeda is widely recognised within the sector, wider media and by regulatory and governmental bodies as a leading source of authoritative and independent intelligence on the early years sector. The About Early Years (About EY) research programme was established by Ceeda in 2017. It involves regular surveys with a representative panel of over 2,340 childcare providers.