PACEY has been working with The Fawcett Society on a new report published today looking into comparative systems of early education and childcare across the world.
This literature review draws from systems in five countries comparable to England (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Switzerland) to explore areas for learning and improvement.
We have highlighted some of the review’s key findings:
- Valuing the early years and childcare workforce leads to better outcomes for children
- Childcare and early education is priced highest in the UK, yet public spending on the sector is low
- Home-based childcare (childminding) provides a smaller, yet valuable feature of most of the worldwide systems
- Affordable childcare has a positive effect on increasing women’s participation in employment
- Other countries are innovating and reforming, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The launch of this report follows a recent roundtable event chaired by Laura Farris MP in which PACEY, the Fawcett Society, Pregnant then Screwed, the Women's Budget Group, Catherine McKinnell MP and others in the sector discussed the findings of the report.
PACEY will be using the findings as part of our response to the Government consultations announced yesterday, as well as our ongoing call for a long-term strategy for the sector.
Read the literature review in full
Helen Donohoe, Policy Advisor at PACEY comments:
“PACEY is proud of the services that early years and childcare professionals work hard to deliver every day for children. There is already a wealth of evidence, backed up in this review, of the positive impact this has on child development, education and wellbeing as well as helping lift families out of poverty. But against a backdrop of government underfunding, and a lack of long-term vision or national strategy, we know their efforts alone are not sustainable.
“We have seen recent willingness from Government to make changes to improve the system. Rather than piecemeal tinkering with regulations, what we need is Government to recognise is that the whole system needs fixing. It needs to work with the sector to ensure a long-term plan to address the well-documented and embedded barriers that have to be removed to ensure early education and childcare in this country is well supported as it is in other countries. We are urging Government to learn from the best evidence, listen to practitioners on the ground and draw on innovation and best practice already taking place in England and further afield.
“PACEY is proposing a three-point plan: to improve integration of family and children support services at a local level, reform the early education and childcare funding system and a put in place a national workforce plan to address the crisis in recruitment and retention in the childcare and early years sector. Only then can we ensure that our early years and childcare sector is supported to provide the world-leading service that children deserve.”