Vote for a #ChildcareChampion in 2021
We are launching our election campaign to encourage PACEY members to vote for a #ChildcareChampion in the elections in England which take place on 6 May 2021. Find out which elections are going ahead in your area by entering your postcode here.
Click here to find out what PACEY Cymru are doing to help our members in Wales to prepare for the Senedd election.
What is PACEY's local election campaign?
We know that too many of those working in childcare and early years over the past year have been left feeling undervalued and unsupported. The coronavirus pandemic has posed new challenges as well as exacerbate existing pressures leaving many practitioners pushed to breaking point.
Research conducted by NDNA and the Education Policy Institute on the early years workforce shows that during the latest national lockdown, 72% of early years settings in England and Wales had to close fully or partially, most commonly due to lack of demand for places. Our latest PACEY survey found that almost 30% childminders in England and Wales are considering deregistering and 17% are considering looking for a second job due to the financial pressures and burden of the past year.
We know that childminders across England received varying levels of support and correspondence from their local authority to help them navigate through the pandemic. Those practitioners who received regular and positive communication with their local early years representatives felt more confident operating during the pandemic and are more optimistic about the future of their setting.
We want to see local councils made up of representatives who are proactively championing good quality childcare and supporting practitioners to provide this. The upcoming elections in England present an opportunity to push for positive change at a local level. That’s why it is important to have your say in the elections next month. By speaking to your prospective candidates, telling them about your situation and asking how they plan to work with local childcare and early year providers over the next four years, you can help influence change in your local area.
What are we asking to change?
PACEY has three key asks for local councils in supporting childcare providers to operate sustainably in the post-lockdown period and beyond. We ask that support is:
- Accessible – Local councils should ensure that practitioners at all stages of their career have all they need from their local council to confidently provide high quality childcare and early education, whilst maintaining a viable business model.
- Informative – Local councils should provide up-to date, clear, accurate information, guidance and training opportunities which are localised and tailored to different types of settings.
- Consistent – Local councils should ensure that they are available to offer universally high quality information and support for all childcare practitioners no matter where they are situated in England.
How can I get involved?
We want to support our members to build relationships with elected decision makers and get your voices heard. Find out who your local election candidates are here.
Ask prospective candidates to pledge their support for the childcare and early years sector, ensuring that they meet the three key criteria above.
Tell candidates about the great work you do and what you provide for the local community.
Not sure what to say? We have outlined three reasons why candidates should be a #ChildcareChampion below:
- High quality early education sets children up for positive outcomes in life. The role of early years and childcare practitioners is crucial in supporting many children who were negatively impacted by the pandemic. There is a wealth of research showing that good quality provision ensures long term benefits for children’s development and learning, particularly for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
- Access to childcare is key in supporting families. The benefits of childcare and early years provision extend to the rest of the family too, allowing parents and carers to work, supporting gender equality and protecting household income. Practitioners offer additional support to families - many parents turn to them for support, advice and guidance.
- Action is needed now to champion the sector. After a year of financial hardship with frequent closures, many practitioners ineligible for financial support and a workforce largely pushed to breaking point, it is vital that local councils step in to help now before provision is lost.
Wales Senedd election
The election for the Senedd in Wales will take place on 6 May 2021. Voting in a Senedd election is your chance have your say about who’ll represent you and your community at the Senedd. Your vote decides who will speak on your behalf in parliament and make decisions affecting all aspects of your life. Your vote also decides which party forms the next Welsh Government. If you're over 16 and call Wales home you can vote in the Senedd election.
PACEY Cymru are part of the Early Years Action group who published their manifesto calling on all political parties to put the needs of babies and the youngest children at the centre of their policies for the next Senedd.
What is next?
We will be keeping momentum up over the coming months once the elections have taken place. Keep an eye out for PACEY resources to get in touch with your elected candidates and ensure that championing childcare is in their priorities.
Thank you for your help! We can do this if we act together. Keep track of our progress with our #ChildcareChampion campaign here and follow us on social media.