#ThisIsEarlyYears campaign launches

The Early Years Alliance has launched a new campaign to highlight the valuable role that early years providers, and particularly private and voluntary settings, play in the local community.

2020 has completely overturned our normal, daily way of life and the early years sector has been at the forefront since the beginning.

The #ThisIsEarlyYears campaign aims to make the positive case for greater support for the early years sector ahead of the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review, highlighting not only the challenges that providers are facing but why the early years is so important.

The sector is an integral part of our infrastructure that, through its success, supports our workforce and economy. We now know that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important to their development. The care and learning experiences given by providers plays a central role in children’s growth.

As part of the campaign, the Alliance is asking early years providers to share as many positive examples as possible of the incredible work that they do help the organisation to use as part of its lobbying and campaigning work.

Providers wanting to share their stories can do so via a simple webform on the Alliance website: https://www.eyalliance.org.uk/thisisearlyyears-share-your-stories

Settings can also support the campaign by posting a story or example of the positive impact their provision has on your local community on Twitter and tagging their local MP – and encouraging parents to do the same; and writing directly to their local MPs to call for greater support for the early years.

To support providers who want to lobby their local MPs as part of the #ThisIsEarlyYears campaign, the Alliance has also created an interactive page on our website that reveals for each constituency in England:

  • how childcare provider numbers in the relevant local authority area have changed over the last five years
  • how early years funding rates in that local authority have changed over the last three years
  • how current funding rates for private and voluntary providers in the local authority compare to rates paid to maintained nursery schools

This page is available here: https://www.eyalliance.org.uk/localEYdata

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said: 

‘With the Comprehensive Spending Review just around the corner, there has never been a more critical time to make a strong argument for more investment into the early years sector.

‘This is particularly true for private and voluntary providers. We know that when politicians talk about maintained nursery settings, they don’t talk about the ‘childcare’ they provide: they talk about the quality early education they deliver – and it is no coincidence that the government has not hesitated to commit to ensuring that these settings are funded adequately in the long term.

‘That’s why we want to change the narrative around PVI settings, and focus not just on preventing providers from closing but also why it’s so important they stay open, making a positive case for government investment.

‘This is a real opportunity for nurseries, pre-schools and childminders across the country to shout about the great work they do day-in and day-out, and so we urge as many providers as possible to share their stories with us, show local MPs and policymakers the amazing impact they have on local families and say loudly and proudly: this is early years.’

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