Following the findings of a recent survey, the Early Years Alliance is urging the government to undertake an urgent review of early years funding in England.
Its latest survey revealed that just one in ten parents believe that early years childcare providers (both nurseries and childminders) are properly funded. 91% of survey respondents agreed that early years professionals should be paid on a similar scale to school teachers.
Only 12% of parents surveyed believed that the current offer was financially sustainable for the early years sector, with 65% agreeing that it was not enough to sustain settings and professionals, placing early years providers under threat.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: “While there is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has had a hugely detrimental impact on the early years sector, many of the financial difficulties that nurseries, pre-schools and childminders are currently facing existed long before the pandemic.
“We in the sector have long argued that these challenges are a direct result of sustained government underfunding, and as these results show, parents are well aware of this too, with the vast majority recognising that the government’s support for early years providers is not enough for them to remain financially viable.
“Even with the recent shift towards home working, as the survey findings demonstrate, a functioning early years sector remains critical to the ability of parents to return to their workplaces and progress in their careers. It’s therefore clear that government must prevent further early years closures if it is to ensure that the economy as a whole is able to recover post-pandemic.
“The government cannot continue to drag its feet on this issue: we need an urgent review of early years funding to enable providers to deliver quality, affordable and sustainable services both now and in the future. If the government wants to make sure parents can continue to work and that every child is able to benefit from high-quality early education and care, then investing in the sector that can deliver both is surely the obvious choice.”
The full story, as reported by the Early Years Alliance, can be read here.