Alliance responds as DfE announces latest tranche of education recovery funding

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

"It is encouraging to see the early years sector properly considered in this stage of the recovery plan, with a proportion of funding significantly higher than the government's initial announcements. Additional training for early years practitioners is particularly welcome since tight budgets leave many settings with little money to invest in upskilling the workforce. 

"That said, even with this uplift, we note that the early years still only accounts for around 6% of overall recovery spending. As such, we hope today's news will soon be followed by further investment into our vital sector.

"What's more, since children have returned to settings in greater numbers, early years practitioners are by far the most concerned about their personal, social and emotional development. With speech and language development specifically referenced, we await crucial details of the programme to ensure areas like social and physical development have not been neglected.

"The government states that it is taking an evidence-based approach to recovery. Given that we know money spent in the early years offers the best opportunity to close the attainment gap, it must not seek to fall back on this one-off announcement, but continue to invest in this sector to ensure a high-quality early education for every child, not least those who have lived a large proportion of their lives under social distancing measures.