The Children’s Commissioner has issued a report entitled “Childhood in the time of COVID-19” which includes recommendations for early years settings.
In her introduction to the report, Anne Longfield OBE says: “Children have fewer health risks from Covid-19 and yet they have suffered disproportionately from the nation’s efforts to contain the virus. This report aims to set out, in one place, the key ways in which children’s lives have been impacted as a result of the Covid-19 crisis – the nation’s biggest test since the Second World War. In doing so, it provides a roadmap for what must be done to enable children to recover from their experiences, and how their needs must be put first in the event of further lockdowns.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said: “The Government must action the recommendations that the Children’s Commissioner makes to ensure children do not suffer any further as a result of this pandemic. Children must be their number one priority.
“This includes making sure that all early years settings stay open and in order to do that, they are given an emergency recovery package.
“Many early years providers stayed open throughout lockdown despite making a loss in order to provide emergency childcare for frontline workers. They were the fourth emergency service and this must be recognised. Childcare businesses must be given catch up funding while their income is low and their business costs are higher in order to provide a safe environment. The Government must also carry out a review into fair funding rates to make sure that providers can at least cover their costs going forward.
“All early years settings must be open to provide continuity of care which is so important for young children’s wellbeing and good development.
“But in order to stay open, it’s vital that all early years workers – including those in private and voluntary nurseries – have priority access to testing. Nurseries should not be forced to close while they are waiting for staff to be tested. They should receive the same support which is offered to schools and maintained settings.”
The full report can be found here.