The NDNA has added its support to a petition which is calling for the government to commission an independent review of childcare funding and affordability.
The petition is open to all parents, providers and staff working in early years and has already gained over 107,000 signatures passing the 100,000 required for a debate in parliament. It highlights low pay, nursery closures and how ‘without good quality, affordable childcare the ‘levelling up’ agenda will fail.’
Stella Ziolkowski, NDNA’s Director of Quality and Training, said: “We know that the childcare policy has been underfunded for many years – a report from MPs in 2019 revealed a funding gap of £662 million. The survey by an All-Party Parliamentary Group found serious doubts about the Government’s financial support for early years providers with just one in ten parents believing that current funding levels are enough for nurseries to remain sustainable.
“Findings from our research with the Education Policy Institute reveals much lower occupancy levels whilst costs remain the same. There is also an additional costs burden associated with applying Government Covid-19 guidance and measures to keep everyone safe. We are concerned this financial strain will impact on the future sufficiency of early education for families as we are seeing more closures as a result.
“Due to low funding levels our workforce are one of the lowest paid and research demonstrates that a large percentage are forced to claim benefits to survive. High quality early education provided by a skilled workforce is key to giving children a strong start to their educational journey and future life chances. We can’t overemphasise the importance of a happy, recognised and rewarded workforce on outcomes for children – their motivation deserves to be rewarded. The only way employers will be able to do this is by ensuring that funding covers the cost of providing funded places.
“The plethora of research surrounding the state of the sector can simply no longer be ignored. This petition shows that funded childcare is not working for parents or providers. We support and continue to call for an urgent and full review of funding rates and how and when this policy is delivered.”
Read the full story on the NDNA website here.
Find out more and sign the petition here.
A £1 million ‘early years sports fund’ has been launched by the government to give every child attending nursery in England the chance to have a free sports and activity class.
With many early years settings facing financial challenges during the pandemic, the £1 million early years sports fund has been created by Super Star Sport UK to provide every child who attends an early years setting in England an opportunity to take part in a sports and activity session. The aim is to impact as many children’s lives as possible through participation in sport – following multiple lockdowns over the past year or so.
The class will follow the early years foundation stage guidelines and is specifically designed to ensure every child can participate – as well as to aid learning and development.
The early years sports fund (EYSF) has committed to ensuring all of the costs involved are covered ensuring the children at the nursery receive a 45-minute sports and activity lesson at no expense.
Founder of Super Star Sport UK, Angelo Ciccarelli said: “Following the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple national lockdowns, we have seen many early years providers hit financially. We understand the strain they have been through and so wanted to launch a fund that can support them.
“Not only have the settings been under pressure but many children may have become inactive through the lockdowns affecting their health and wellbeing. “This is why we have launched the early years sports fund which will ensure that children across the country will have the opportunity to get involved in sports and activity classes fully funded for their setting.”
More details can be found at: www.earlyyearssportsfund.co.uk