ASCL comment on EPI and National Day Nurseries Association report into Covid isolation

21/07/2021
Tiffnie Harris, Primary Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the report from EPI and the National Day Nurseries Association showing that four in ten early years settings across England, Wales and Scotland were forced to close during the spring as a result of Covid isolation. 
 
Commenting on the report from EPI and the National Day Nurseries Association showing that four in ten early years settings across England, Wales and Scotland were forced to close during the spring as a result of Covid isolation, Tiffnie Harris, Primary Specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“This report throws a spotlight on the financial fragility of a neglected area of education that is crucial to children’s outcomes and which has suffered badly during the pandemic. The truth is that it wouldn’t have needed much to throw many early years settings into crisis as government has overlooked the sector and funding for the early years entitlement is wholly inadequate.
 
“The immediate impact of the havoc the pandemic has wrought will be felt in September when substantial numbers of young children join reception classes having missed out on the grounding and behaviours that early years education provides.
 
“This again emphasises the need for a substantial and better funded education recovery plan from the government which recognises that children and young people of all ages have suffered during the pandemic, rather than the inadequate solution it has so far produced.
 
“In the longer term, this sector desperately needs more focus from government in terms of investment and strategy because of the crucial role it can play in closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.”