LGA responds to Duchess of Cambridge research on early years

"The LGA has repeatedly raised concerns about the underfunding of the early entitlements, so it was good that extra funding was announced in the recent Spending Review. However, with many early years providers struggling due to COVID-19, it was disappointing that this was not a more significant and immediate investment to support providers during this unprecedented time."


Two toddlers on a swing

Responding to research by the Royal Foundation led by the Duchess of Cambridge on the importance of early years, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“Good quality early education has a positive impact on young children’s development, as recognised in the report, while childcare more broadly enables parents and carers to work and often gives children the opportunity to interact with other children and try new things in a safe space.

“Childcare providers have been a vital part of the nation’s response to coronavirus and councils have been working closely with them to ensure that vulnerable children and critical workers have the childcare they need, which this research highlights is vital in the early years of childhood development.

“The LGA has repeatedly raised concerns about the underfunding of the early entitlements, so it was good that extra funding was announced in the recent Spending Review. However, with many early years providers struggling due to COVID-19, it was disappointing that this was not a more significant and immediate investment to support providers during this unprecedented time.

“It is crucial we retain the good quality early education and childcare that improves children’s outcomes and reduces the disadvantage gap. Given recent evidence that up to one in six early years providers may not survive winter due to COVID-19, immediate investment is needed.”

Notes to editors

One in six years providers may not survive winter due to COVID-19, according to a report last month by Early Years Alliance.