The landscape of early years education in England is evolving, presenting both challenges and opportunities. The recent report, ‘Retention and Return: Delivering the Expansion of Early Years Entitlement in England,’ provides an in-depth analysis of the current state of the early education and childcare sector. In this blog post, we delve into the key findings of this report, highlighting the pressing issues and potential solutions in early years education.

Key Findings:

  1. Workforce Challenges: The report underscores the significant challenges in retaining skilled professionals in early years settings. Factors such as job satisfaction, career progression opportunities, and the overall work environment play a crucial role in staff retention.
  2. Pay and Progression: Despite the crucial role they play, early years professionals often face limitations in pay progression. The report emphasizes the need for better training and development opportunities to enhance career prospects within the sector.
  3. Impact of Government Policies: The expansion of early years entitlement has brought its own set of challenges. The report evaluates the effects of government funding and policies on various aspects of the sector, including the pressures faced by nursery managers and childminders.


The ‘Retention and Return’ report paints a vivid picture of the hurdles and potential within the early years education sector. One striking revelation is the disparity between the vital role of early years professionals and the challenges they face in terms of remuneration and career advancement. This gap not only affects the morale of existing staff but also poses a threat to attracting new talent to the field.

Furthermore, the report brings to light the complex dynamics influenced by governmental policies and funding. While the intention to expand early years education is commendable, the implementation process reveals areas that require urgent attention and refinement.


As we navigate these challenges, it’s imperative to acknowledge the dedication and impact of early years professionals. Their role in shaping the foundational years of children’s education is invaluable. The insights from the ‘Retention and Return’ report should serve as a catalyst for meaningful discussions and actions aimed at enhancing the early years education landscape in England.

For a more comprehensive understanding, we encourage our readers to delve into the full report. Together, we can work towards creating a more supportive, rewarding, and sustainable environment for those at the forefront of early childhood education.