Alliance responds to Nesta report on missed early education as term begins

The Early Years Alliance has responded to a report from Nesta, which suggests that young children will face the most challenging school start for generations, after the average pupil starting Reception this year missed more than a quarter of their early years education due to the pandemic.

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

"These findings are an important reminder of the vital service that early years settings deliver: not just the childcare that parents need to work, but the quality early education that supports children's learning throughout school and beyond.

"Many young children have missed vital hours at nurseries, pre-schools and childminding settings over the last 18 months, on top of interactions with family, friends and peers. Yet, despite this, just 5% of the government's education recovery programme has been allocated to the early years so far.

"Much more support is needed for early years professionals if they are to tackle the significant impact of this pandemic on children's early development. We therefore urge the government to put the early years at the heart of education recovery now and to use the upcoming Spending Review to ensure that our vital sector gets the funding and support it both needs and deserves."