The newly formed Early Education and Childcare Coalition (EECC) has marked it’s official launch today with the release of a short film ‘Further Together’ and a report ‘Pulse Check 2023: Public Attitudes Towards Early Education and Childcare.
The Early Education and Childcare Coalition was developed in response to the growing pressures facing the sector and families. Continued underfunding, rising costs, and workforce pressures created a growing need for collaboration among all those impacted by the crisis in early education and childcare and with the aim of using its collective voice alongside robust research to “build public and political support for a sector that underpins all of our lives”.
Headlines of the Report
- 42% of UK Voters say that Childcare and Early Education Reform will be key in deciding who to vote for in the General Election
- 44% of people think that childcare and early education professionals are underpaid
- Almost two-thirds (59%) of voters think that good early years education benefits the whole country, not just parents
- Over a third of voters (40%) support investing more taxpayers’ money in early education and childcare even if it means higher taxes for everyone; this figure rises to 59% for people who are hoping to become a parent.
- However, as things stand, 44% of British people think those working in childcare and early education are underpaid, and 31% believe they are undervalued.
- Almost half of all voters (49%) said that well-trained staff was an important factor when it came to providing good quality early education and childcare, with over a third (36%) saying the same about decent pay for staff.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, Sarah Ronan, Acting Director for the Early Education and Childcare Coalition, comments
“Right now, we have an opportunity to truly transform the future of early education and childcare through sustainable reform of the sector. Voters understand that we all benefit from an early education and childcare sector with the right investment. Politicians need to understand that, too and invest accordingly.
It’s clear from our data that childcare reform is not just a priority for parents now but for future parents too, and for grandparents who often find themselves plugging the gap created by the current broken system. British voters have told us here that they think the early education workforce is underpaid and undervalued. Parents don’t want ‘cheap childcare’ at the expense of quality or safety. They care about their children’s experience, and importantly, they care about the people that care for and educate their children.”
Commenting on behalf of UNISON, the trade union with the largest membership in early years and nurseries, and a member of the EECC, general secretary Christina McAnea said
“All children deserve high-quality care and education delivered by well-paid professionals. But early-years staff have endured more than a decade of wage freezes and below-average pay awards. The cost-of-living crisis has devalued their income even further, causing staff to leave for better-paid work. A proper wage is an investment in the workforce, leading to higher quality early-years care and learning.”
Earlier this year in the Spring Budget, the Chancellor set out plans to invest more in childcare. The report has found that over two-thirds of voters (68%) think that it’s a good idea in principle to expand childcare provision. Voters believe this will give parents the freedom to return to work or increase their hours (54%) and make children more sociable by playing with children their own age, as well as getting them ready for school (45%).
About the EECC
The Early Education and Childcare Coalition unites the voices of all those with a stake in the future of early education and care – children, parents, providers, the early education workforce, and the wider business community. Read more
Membership – Who are the EECC?
The Early Education and Childcare Coalition was founded by more than 30 organisations who make up the core membership. They are united in their belief that real and lasting change can only be achieved through the focused and collaborative efforts of everyone with a stake in the future of early education. Read more
Blog by June O’Sullivan, CEO of London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) – Stronger in Numbers: The EECC Launch
News article from Unison – UNISON helps found new coalition for childcare and early education