The need for a more strategic approach to developing the ECEC workforce
These inter-related areas concerning the working conditions and quality of ECEC teachers deserve immediate coherent and strategic policy attention in order to ensure the conditions for a high-quality and motivated workforce. Latvia’s Education Development Guidelines 2014-2020 recognise this issue as one of the key education objectives.
The development of the ECEC workforce is currently left too much to municipalities who vary in their capacity to take on this responsibility. Stronger support and steering by the central government seems needed. The proposed national standards for ECEC staff are a case in point.
In addition more than a quarter of the ECEC workforce (27%) were aged 50 or older in 2012 (Eurostat, 2014a). demographic decline is likely to diminish the demand for new ECEC staff to some degree, especially in some areas of the country, but the supply of new high-quality ECEC staff will still need a national solution. The recruitment of sufficient numbers of quality ECEC staff and the essential transfer of knowledge and skills by experienced staff to the new generation is something deserving strategic consideration.