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£1,000 incentive to recruit childcare staff to be tested in Staffordshire

Posted on Thursday 14th March 2024

Staffordshire County Council's cabinet member for children and young people, Mark Sutton.

Staffordshire has been selected to join a national pilot to encourage people to pursue a career in early years and childcare.

It means that people who start a job in childcare or return to the profession will be eligible for a payment of up to £1,000. 

This financial incentive pilot was launched by the Department for Education (DfE) in February to test if it would boost early years recruitment, after seeing success with similar schemes to employ more schoolteachers. 

Staffordshire is one of 20 areas across the country that has been selected to take part in the pilot, which will run from April until December. 

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Mark Sutton, said:

“Being chosen to pilot the financial incentive scheme provides us with a fantastic opportunity to give a recruitment boost to our amazing childcare providers.  

“One of the biggest limitations on childcare supply is a shortage in early years practitioners. We hope that a ‘golden hello’ will help to address this issue by incentivising more childcare professionals to apply for positions in high demand areas. 

“Ensuring Staffordshire’s childcare providers have enough staff is key to making sure our children have all the support they need to achieve their potential. 

“Over the next nine months, we will measure the impact the funding has on childcare recruitment in Staffordshire and report our findings to the Department for Education to see if it is something we can continue.” 

To be eligible for the money, early years practitioners must either be applying for their first role at a Staffordshire early years provider or returning to the profession after at least six months. 

Providers must be delivering Staffordshire County Council’s Early Education Funding (EEF) to be eligible. The DfE has also stated that this excludes childminders and Reception class staff. 

Providers must also register with the county council’s ‘Golden Hello’ from 1 April for new employees to receive the payment after 12 weeks. 

Information on accessing the incentive will be made available soon. 

Explore early years and childcare careers and vacancies at Staffordshire Jobs and Careers at https://bit.ly/EarlyYearsSJC.

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