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NEWS: Numbers of children in early years settings published

The first evidence of how many children of key workers and vulnerable children are attending an early years setting in England has been published by the DfE and it reveals that just 4% of the usual number of children are still attending.
Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive, says:
“The latest research from the DfE shows that just over a quarter of childcare settings are open with almost half (45%) reported as closed and uncertainty for a remaining 30%. Both the settings that have closed and those that remain open are playing a vital part in the battle to beat Covid 19 but it is coming at a significant cost to them, their staff as well as the families who used to rely on them to balance work and home.
“We remain acutely concerned that the current support from government will not be enough to help many of these settings to survive this pandemic and believe more needs to be done to ensure the financial pressure childcare providers are experiencing now doesn’t lead to permanent closure.
"We also need government to start to think through how it wants the sector to prepare for life after lockdown, especially if we are facing a phased return to work. This will heap additional pressure on to the sector as it is likely to lead to reduced need for its services over the summer and in the run up to the critical September period when many families make new childcare arrangements as children start school or early education for the first time. Whilst government support during May and June is important, the childcare sector will not simply bounce back over the summer without significant support to help it prepare and navigate what may be a complex transition period.”