"Spending on quality, accessible childcare is an investment in our country’s sustainability…”
PACEY’s Chief Executive Liz Bayram has written an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, expressing key concerns for the early years sector, ahead of the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review in late November. Within the letter, PACEY outlines the key issues and solutions needed.
The childcare and early years sector is crucial for economic recovery and that the government must create a long-term funding and investment plan.
- Early education and childcare should be central to any government support for critical infrastructure.
- Without an immediate and bold new funding settlement for early education and childcare, we risk jeopardising children's development and economic recovery at the same time.
- Solid investment in the childcare sector will boost immediate employment opportunities, protect household incomes, underpin economic group and support gender equality.
The rising education and development deficit that Covid-19 is imposing on children must be addressed.
- Research from the Sutton Trust has shown that the lack of formal childcare provision during Covid-19 has had “the biggest impact on the poorest children” with potentially lasting impacts on the attainment gap.
- Without the levelling effects of high quality affordable childcare, the poorest children can be up to 11 months behind their better-off peers before they even start school at the age of four.
- These issues are within the context of an already persistent decline in school readiness.
- To build a solid foundation for lifelong learning, wellbeing and employment, we desperately need properly resourced early education and childcare.
The early years workforce needs better pay and progression opportunities.
- Education and skills development will be essential for economic recovery
- The current poor pay and lack of progression in the sector that is overwhelming female led is appalling and not acceptable. Childcare workers live in a position of high financial insecurity, with almost half (44.5 per cent) claiming state benefits or tax credits.
- Childminders in particularly have struggled to balance their work with other family caring responsibilities and have been working at less than or near minimum wage.
"...we have an opportunity to do things differently and to do things better."
Read the full letter here.