Early Years Alliance Report: The Forgotten Sector

The Alliance has today published a new report examining at the financial impact of coronavirus on the early years sector in England.

The report, entitled The Forgotten Sector, is available here:
EY Alliance ‘The Forgotten Sector’

The report, based on analysis of the responses to Alliance’s recent parent and provider surveys on the impact of coronavirus on the childcare sector, which found that 69% of nurseries, pre-schools and childminder expect to operate at a loss over the next six months, while 25% say that it is ‘likely’ they will be forced to close within the years. 

The Forgotten Sector report outlines the significant challenges facing many nurseries, pre-schools, childminders and out-of-hours clubs across the country; highlights the gaps in existing government support schemes; and recommends urgent steps that the government must take to ensure that providers are able to stay afloat during this difficult period and beyond.

It also provides a comprehensive overview of the key government early years policy failures during the pandemic – such as the U-turn on Job Retention Scheme support for early years providers, the watering-down of guarantees of ‘free entitlement’ funding for closed settings, and the removal of the ability of some providers to access business support grants – and highlights discrepancies in the support given to other sectors – such as schools, and retail, hospitality and leisure businesses – compared to the support being made available to the early years.

The Forgotten Sector also includes new modelling data from independent early years analyst Ceeda, which outlines the impact of reduced occupancy levels as a result of the pandemic on early years providers.

This report is part of the Alliance’s outgoing work to raise the profile of the challenges facing the early years sector in Parliament and, in light of reports that an emergency Budget will take place shortly, to call for an urgent financial support package for early years providers.

The Alliance is committed to fighting for the support the sector needs, both now and in the long term, and they sent a copy of The Forgotten Sector to every single MP in England this morning as part of their continued work on this vital issue on behalf of wider Early Years sector.

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