The country’s three largest childcare representative organisations have written an open letter to all political parties urging them not to pledge promises that the sector cannot deliver.
National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), the Pre-school Learning Alliance and the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) have joined forces to speak out against a potential “bidding war” similar to the 2015 general election over hours of ‘free’ childcare.
The letter reads:
“In 2015 there was a pre-election arms race on childcare policy, with political parties looking to outbid each other on their offer to parents. Two years on, the pledge of 30 hours free childcare for working parents is putting the quality and viability of early years provision at risk.
“Politicians rightly recognise that childcare has a dual benefit of better educational outcomes for children and support for parents to work and train. However, chronic underfunding remains and per child investment in under fives is half that of primary school children.
“As the political parties finalise their manifestos, we call for well-thought out plans developed in consultation with the early years sector. Plans that support sustainable, quality childcare; delivered by fairly rewarded practitioners who can see a long term future in their profession. Not rash promises that cannot be delivered and do not support children or their parents.”
It is signed by:
Purnima Tanuku, Chief Executive, National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
Neil Leitch, Chief Executive, Pre-school Learning Alliance
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY)
Take a look at PACEY's pledges for the political parties.