Community has recently released its Early Years Charter, which provides recommendations on how to strengthen and improve the childcare sector in a way which works for workers and families. The Charter was developed following discussions with Community members working in the sector – providing first hand accounts and experience of what is required from government to improve the early years sector.
Community’s Early Years Charter Commitments:
- recognition that early years staff and nannies are educators not babysitters;
- recognition of the specialised work that early years staff and nannies undertake;
- increased funding for early years settings that adequately covers the cost of provision;
- improved wages for staff in recognition of the specialised work they do and to support recruitment and retention into the sector;
- raising the profile of nannies and other early years professionals to address the recruitment and retention crisis; and
- streamlined professional development opportunities for staff.
The Co-operative Party is pleased to support the Early Years Charter, as it aligns closely with our existing childcare policy. As a Party, our most recent update on early years and childcare policy was published in Steps to Success: Lessons from Co-operatives in Education. As with Community’s Early Years Charter, this was developed through direct discussions with workers and organisations in the early years and childcare sector.
Steps to Success Early Years Policy Recommendations:
- Guarantee quality childcare by maintaining existing staff to child ratio of 1:4
- Increase resources for training of Ofsted inspectors
- Sustainable funding for the sector
- Raise the free-childcare allowance to 30 hours for all children from two years old
- Make childcare professionals eligible for the Skilled Worker Visa.
There is clear alignment in both sets of recommendations – ensuring the recognition of the importance of trained workers in the sector, improve funding which enhances the sustainability of the sector and action to deal with staffing shortages.
Chris Wilson, who serves on the National Executives of both Community and the Co-operative Party, said:
“I am delighted that the Co-operative Party is supporting the Early Years Charter.
“Both Community and the Co-operative Party are membership organisations that recognise the vital role of early years education and childcare and those who work in the sector.
“Both are committed to developing policies that reflect their members’ wishes and will improve and develop both their working lives and the services that are their vocation.”
A leading example of co-operative childcare is Little Pioneers, which is a subsidiary of The Midcounties Co-operative. One of the UK’s top 10 largest nurseries, Little Pioneers has 48 nurseries across the Midlands, providing 3,600 childcare places. 95% of Little Pioneers service users are members of the Midcounties Co-operative, providing them the opportunity for them to take part in democratic decision making.
Little Pioneers is committed to reinvesting its profits in delivering improved services for members and working conditions for staff. This prevents the profit leakage which dominates the rest of the childcare sector.
Community’s Early Years Charter
Further information and support
Community represents and supports people working in all sectors of the early years and education. Our dedicated education and early years team have the training and experience to help guide you through any challenges or issues you are facing at work.
We’re proud to secure better pay and conditions for our members. Click here to find out more about our member-exclusive benefits and join today.