Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out the summer statement outlining plans to support the economy going forward and boost jobs however, there was no mention of early years and childcare. Key support announced today includes:
- Any employer who brings someone back off furlough, and keeps them in a job until January, will receive a £1,000 bonus from the government. To get the bonus, firms must pay at least £520 each month.
- £1bn for DWP to support unemployed including doubling of work coaches in JCP.
- A £2bn scheme to create job placements for young people.
- A temporary change to stamp duty - immediately increasing the threshold to £500,000.
- Temporary cut to VAT on food, accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5%.
- A £2bn "green homes grant" to help make homes more energy efficient.
- “Eat out to help out” vouchers that will give diners 50% off their meals out, with conditions, for August.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY commented;
"While we welcome a number of the Chancellor’s announcements in his summer statement, not least the help for young people, we are acutely concerned about the total absence of any mention of early years and childcare.
As we will continue to highlight, the early years sector is in the midst of a crisis. While many childminders, for example, are trying to stay open they have only a third of their usual children attending with huge uncertainties about the future. Thousands have already missed out on the existing self-employment financial support scheme and with this statement have been excluded once more. What we need is immediate and sustained investment in early years and childcare and not just tinkering with regulatory requirements. Without childminders, nurseries and pre-schools, working parents cannot get back to work and children, especially our most disadvantaged, don’t get the best start in life.
Furthermore, we know that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit he poorest and most vulnerable children the hardest and yet we see little in the Chancellor’s statement of direct benefit to those in the most acute need.
In his autumn spending review the Chancellor must, finally, give us sight of the government’s vision for early years education and childcare, for how he will urgently invest in its development and secure a stable, positive future for its dedicated but undervalued and low-paid workforce. We will repeat our call for immediate transition funding to save thousands of childminders, nurseries and pre-schools right now - but we want that to come with a long term strategy."