Education chiefs are calling for more nursery teachers after Sunderland enjoyed its best Ofsted results.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership, which is part of the Department for Education, has made a fresh call in the city to get high quality candidates to train as nursery teachers to help further improve early education of young children.
Across the region more than four out of five nurseries and other early years providers, 86%, are rated as good or outstanding, up 21 % on 2010.
Tax-free bursaries of up to £9,000 plus training fees of £7,000 are being made available to get graduates working with young children.
Graduates already employed in nurseries are also encouraged to train, their fees will be paid plus their employers will receive funding to support them while they are training.
Across the North East, three training providers – including the University of Sunderland – offer early years teacher training.
For graduates, the training course is usually a year in length and can be part-time or full-time depending on the route taken. There is also a full-time three to four-year undergraduate route.
Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Training and Leadership, said: “We know that the quality of early education is higher when practice is led by an early years teacher.
“In order to ensure we continue to give the very youngest children in our communities the best start in life and continue to develop the workforce, we need more excellent early years teachers joining the profession.”
To find out more, visit www.getintoteaching.education.gov.uk.