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English Housing Survey

Understanding the Early Years Workforce

This project will look at the motivations of early years staff for entering, moving through and leaving the early years workforce.

This project will explore early years workers’ journeys through the sector, and investigate what helps and hinders the recruitment, retention and development of high quality early years staff. Specifically, it will seek to answer the following research questions:

  • What motivates EY professionals to enter and remain in (or leave) the EY sector?
  • How and why do managers seek to recruit, retain and develop a high quality EY workforce?
  • What are the barriers and facilitators to the recruitment of a high quality EY workforce?
  • What are the barriers and facilitators to the retention of a high quality EY workforce?
  • What are the barriers and facilitators to the development of a high quality EY workforce?

We will be conducting in-depth interviews with early years practitioners and managers in order to understand their experiences and perspectives on these issues.

This research is part of a larger study, which has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation and is being carried out by NatCen Social Research (NatCen) and the Education Policy Institute (EPI). EPI will be analysing quantitative data to understand what features of the early years workforce make the biggest difference to the quality of early years provision and children’s outcomes. You can find out more about the research being conducted by EPI on their website here.