Share your early years story

A new study, launched by Ceeda is inviting early years staff and volunteers to share their experience of the pandemic.

Since the outbreak of this pandemic, the early years sector has been at the forefront, constantly having to juggle the needs of parents, children and staff while also having to adapt to the changes in Government guidance. It has been a difficult and uncertain couple of months and there is still a while to go before we can get back to normality…although I feel it will be a new kind of normal.

Closures nationwide has put an immense strain on the sector, especially financially. With many staff on furlough, those left to care for key workers children and vulnerable children have more responsibilities to handle.

The study will highlight the experience of those working and volunteering across the early years sector, their struggles and their needs to move forward.

Dr Jo Verrill, managing director at Ceeda said:

‘Systemic underfunding and rising costs have meant many providers were running on a hand-to-mouth basis before the coronavirus pandemic hit, with early years staff being amongst the lowest paid in the country. It is time for the contribution of the early years workforce to be fully recognised and understood, and their needs supported.

‘As the sector navigates its way through the crisis, this study will provide a direct channel for staff to voice their concerns, highlight their amazing work and provide the understanding needed to rebuild a strong, vibrant and well-rewarded workforce for the future. This is a key focus of the recently launched Early Years Workforce Commission, of which we are proud to be a part.’

All employees and volunteers working in a childcare setting at the beginning of March this year are invited to take part in the study.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance said:

‘It is absolutely critical that Ceeda undertake this new workforce study in order to fully understand the impact that the battle against Coronavirus is having on those working in the early years sector. The commitment of our workforce as they continue to put themselves at risk in order to ensure continuity of care for the most vulnerable children and for the children of fellow key workers must receive the recognition and support it deserves.

‘This study is integral for the sector, as we look ahead to the post-coronavirus future and establish the steps to rebuild a workforce that is both well-supported and well-rewarded.

‘This research will not only provide a mechanism for the championing of such work but also for staff to share their concerns, hopes and ambitions for the future of the early years sector.

‘We are proud to be a partner of this new Early Years Workforce study and we hope these findings will ensure that the government provides the sector with the long-term support it desperately needs.’

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