Yesterday the Government issued a press release saying that they would be investing £2million in a new scheme for Early Years apprentices starting in September 2013. No further details seem to have materialised on the website of the National College for Teaching and Leadership a day later as far as I can see. I have emailed them for more details.
If the bursary is to cover training costs, this means employers would need to take on and pay the wages of the apprentice for the 20 months the course will last. This seems problematic when the government is encouraging providers to have fewer staff looking after the same number of children. These new apprenticeships will be available to providers who take funded 2 year olds. The ratios proposed for 2 year olds will be 6 per member of staff rather than 4 per member of staff. So fewer staff will be needed. Providers will need to sack people not take more on in order to relax ratios and release the money to pay staff more and charge parents less (which is the point of the ratio changes according to Elizabeth Truss). This week the government explained [sic] how these cost savings could be made with the new ratios.
If the bursary is a payment to be made to the apprentice with training costs also covered, the £1500 over 20 months works out to £75.00 per month. This is still not enough so presumably the employer will need to top this up, the problem of increased wage costs remaining.
Yet another puzzle…