Letter from Minister Quince
Yesterday (10 November) PACEY received a letter from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Minister Will Quince MP, in response to a letter we sent in September to welcome him to his new role.
We thank Minister Quince for recognising the fantastic work of those working in early years and childcare and their vital role in supporting children and families, particularly those affected most by the pandemic.
In his letter the Minister sets out his commitment to support the early years and childcare sector and reiterates the recent Budget allocations, including:
- funding allocations to be paid to local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to providers for early education entitlements: £160 million in 2022-2023, £180 million in 2023-2024 and £170 million in 2024-2025.
- £20 million in a high-quality, evidence-based professional development programme (PDP) targeted at practitioners in disadvantaged areas.
- A further £10 million towards training staff in early language, early mathematics and Personal, Social, and Emotional Development (PSED) as part of the PDP.
- £153 million to build a “stronger, more expert workforce” in the early years sector
You can find full details of the Department for Education’s Early Years Recovery package here.
Whilst we welcome these funding allocations, we know that further action is needed to address the sustainability concerns that many childminders, nurseries and preschools are facing. We look forward to working closely with Minister Quince and the DfE to develop a long-term strategy for the sector. This needs to include a review and reform of early years and childcare funding, measures to address the workforce challenges that practitioners are continuing to battle, and improving the integration of family services to ensure these work harder for the families that rely on them.
Click here to read the Minister’s letter in full.
Cross-party support for early years and childcare
We are beginning to see growing cross-party support for early years and childcare in Parliament, most recently in Tuesday's debate on "Giving Every Baby the Best Start in Life”. It was positive to hear MPs speak in support for those working in vital children and families' services, and recognise that more needs to be done to ensure a bright future for all babies and children in England. We are hopeful that with more joined-up working between central government, local authorities, sector organisations, early years and childcare practitioners and families we can make positive change.
If you’d like to catch up on the debate you can watch it here on Parliament TV.
PACEY members can follow us on Twitter where we post reminders for future events and cover the key updates as they happen.