Queen's Speech 2021: Alliance highlights need for early years measures to extend to all under fives

The Alliance has commented on the Queen's Speech following the State Opening of Parliament today, after it made reference to the introduction of measures to support children in their early years, and also to address learning loss as a result of the pandemic.

A full transcript of the speech is available here.

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

"While we warmly welcome the reference to new early years measures in today’s Queen’s Speech, it remains to be seen what these will look like in practical terms.

"The government has made clear its intention to provide greater support to new parents and children in the first 1,001 days, but if we are ever to close the disadvantage gap and make sure that all children are given the best possible start in life, ministers must also commit to ensuring that early education providers are given the funding they need to deliver affordable, sustainable, high-quality care and education over the long term.

“Many early years professionals remain deeply concerned about the impact of the pandemic on young children’s social and emotional development. As such, it’s vital that the measures announced today include a significant uplift in the amount of recovery funding afforded to under-fives – the majority of which attend PVI settings – if we are to offer every child of the pandemic the same chance to succeed as those born at any other time."