Alliance responds to Coram report on role of local authorities in supporting early years through coronavirus

The Alliance has commented on a new report from Coram Family and Childcare into the role of local authorities in supporting the early years sector during the pandemic. The survey and press release are available to read here: Covid and Childcare: The Role of Local Authorities | Family and Childcare Trust

Commenting, Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said:

"While it is useful to understand the support available for early years provision across the country, it is disappointing that this report downplays the severe financial impact of Covid-19 on the early years, especially the fact that the sector has seen a net loss of more than 2,000 nurseries, pre-schools and childminders over the past year.

"Although some local authorities have sought to offer support to providers during the pandemic, the absence of broader financial support from central government - support that was widely available to schools and to other industries such as hospitality and retail - has put early years settings under considerable strain.

Add to this the fact that early years attendance levels remain well below normal, and that the impact of the end of the furlough scheme on childcare demand is yet to be seen, and it is clear that any suggestion access to early years places won't be negatively impacted going forward is wholly misguided.

As life slowly returns to something like normal, we want to ensure that all children and families can access the high-quality early education and affordable childcare they need. That is why we continue to urge the government to give our vital sector the support and investment required to offer it."