“Councils support calls for a review of the early years system and we are pleased the Commissioner is reinforcing our calls for long-term investment in councils’ public health and early intervention services."
Responding to the Children’s Commissioner report calling for the Government to make early years central to the COVID-19 fightback, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Councils support calls for a review of the early years system and we are pleased the Commissioner is reinforcing our calls for long-term investment in councils’ public health and early intervention services. With long-term sustainable funding, councils can ensure that every child has the best possible start in life, protect children’s health and reduce widening health inequalities resulting from COVID-19.
“High-quality early years provision makes a real difference to young children and is proven to break the cycle of disadvantage, improving social mobility and offering them a good start in life. Councils and providers have a crucial role to play in supporting young children as we look to recover from COVID-19.
“The current offer does not give parents clarity about the best options for their children and there are growing concerns about the provision for disadvantaged children, those with special needs, and significant challenges facing the workforce. COVID-19 has also exacerbated the financial challenges facing early years providers and there remains an urgent need for additional funding to support them.”