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Embracing new opportunities for growth: Insights from Gerald Eve

  • Over the last 18 months the early years sector showed how adaptable it is during lockdowns and reopenings. Morgan Allen, partner at Gerald Eve speaks to Briony Richter about the early years market.



New childcare management system gives the childcare sector new opportunities – welcome to Caerus

  • Scottish childcare charity creates revolutionary, easy to navigate, childcare management software to support children, families, and the sector. The team at FCSS detail the journey and the unique capabilities of Caerus.




A talk with Ros Marshall: Leading the way for
a brighter early years

  • Ros Marshall, OBE has been committed to improving and innovating
    the education sector for the majority of her career. She took the time to speak to Briony Richter about her journey and on recently being awarded an OBE for services to Education, to the British Council and to the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain




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A strategy for long-term recovery

Recently, society appears to be getting back to some level of normality but the impact the pandemic had on the sector will remain for months, possibly years to come.

To meet the needs of this new environment, settings all across the UK have adapted their operating and communication strategies to enable better results during unpredictable times.

However, recovery is going to be a long and bumpy road and the consequences are becoming frighteningly apparent.

The latest government figures reveal that more than 2,500 childcare settings have closed over the last six months despite a pick up in occupancy and demand for places.

The DfE’s monthly joiners and leavers in the childcare sector report highlighted that there were 74,130 childcare providers in England as of 31 December 2020.

The latest data release shows that there were 71,535 childcare providers as of 31 May this year, pointing to a loss of 2,595 childcare providers since the start of the year.

In the last month alone 270 settings closed, according to the figures including 216 childminders, seven settings operating from non-domestic premises and 47 providers operating from their own home.

Early Years Alliance chief exec, Neil Leitch, commented on the shocking statistics:

“Earlier today, we released shocking documents showing that the government has been knowingly underfunding the early years sector for years. These figures show the consequences of that shameful decision.

“With nearly 400 group providers and 2,000 childminders lost in just 11 months, how much more proof is needed that sector funding and the support the early years has received during the pandemic are both wholly inadequate?

“Every nursery, pre-school and childminder is of huge value to the community they serve, the parents they support and the children they educate. That so many quality providers have fallen by the wayside is a tragic and yet totally inevitable result of this government’s early years policy. If these figures don’t open the eyes of ministers to the need for a funding review, who knows what will.”

These statistics are even more tragic when you link that with the private government documents released by the Early Years Alliance that revealed that the government knowingly underfunded sector.

Despite numerous calls for additional financial support since the beginning of the pandemic, the government continued to leave the sector to cope on its own. The government must now take immediate steps to prevent further childcare closures and begin to recover and rebuild this essential infrastructure to our society.

Briony Richter
Editor, Nursery Management Today