New funding means little without investment in early years workforce

Community Union has highlighted that new funding for nursery places and childcare facilities will mean little without investment in the stretched early years workforce.

This follows today’s announcement from Department for Education on a new tranche of capital funding to be made available to support an increase in early years and wraparound childcare places in England, starting from April 2024. The department said the new funding would also contribute towards expanding physical space in childcare settings.

Helen Osgood, Community Union’s National Officer for Education and Early Years, said:

“Whilst we welcome this pledge on new funding for early years and wraparound childcare places, it won’t be worth the paper its written on unless there a similar investment in staffing. After a 13 years of neglect under this Conservative Government, the early years workforce in England is more stretched than ever.

“An investment in physical infrastructure, as promised by the government, will achieve little if the recruitment and retention crisis in the sector goes unaddressed. It’s time for the government to show it values the early years workforce with meaningful action and support, particularly on the issues of pay and appropriate recognition for the vital work they do.”

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Community is proud to be the union for education and early years professionals: representing teachers, headteachers, education, school support staff and early years staff across the UK.

With over 50 years’ experience, we represent members and campaign to improve pay and conditions for education and early years professionals.

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