Three proposals have been published this week focused on early years which call upon Government to take action:
Call for an increase in the Early Years Pupil Premium
The Social Mobility Commission put the State of the Nation report 2016 before Parliament today, which called for the Government to double the funding for early years pupil premium children. It currently stands that each three and four- year old child receives up to £300 per year, compared to the £1,320 for pupils between Reception and Year 6.
The commission found that those in deprived areas were more likely to receive care that is not good enough, in comparison to more prosperous areas. It acknowledges that there is also a geographical divide, as well as a social divide, particularly in large cities. The commission is now calling for clear objectives to be laid out by 2025 that every child should be school ready by the age of 5, along with the introduction of a new parental support package at key points in a child’s life to support children falling behind.
Call to make childcare universally free
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) calls for a universal childcare entitlement, up to the school-ready age, to help retain staff. The BCC, which represents 92,000 businesses, ran a survey that found one in nine had lost staff due to the high costs of childcare and a further 28% of firms had a reduction of hours. Of the 16,000 businesses surveyed, 33% thought the availability of childcare as key and viewed 30 hours free childcare positively.
Call for funding to boost early years quality
The Family and Childcare Trust has today called for £111m to improve early education and childcare by introducing a new Early Excellence Fund. The fund would support upskilling the workforce, increase the number of qualified early years special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) while providing financial incentives for small childcare settings. The report identifies seven 'key opportunities' for improvement to staff, including better wages and professional development. More can be read on the report here.