Karen continued to say: “While the extension of free childcare is undoubtedly a welcome boost for parents, it will pose some operational challenges for nurseries.
“For some time now, the industry has been hit with both a shortage of new entrants coming into the industry and qualified staff remaining in the sector.
“That has left many nursery managers facing a recruitment headache which must be addressed with the increased demand they are now going to be facing, and apprenticeships and other training methods are going to play a key part in that.
“Apprenticeship programmes can be hugely successful for both the learner and the employer, whether it’s attracting new recruits into early years education or upskilling existing staff.
“For the learner it provides the opportunity to earn while you learn and create career development opportunities while, for the nursery setting, apprenticeships represent a cost-effective way to train staff and see a sustained increase in skills levels amongst the workforce.”