This week shone a spotlight on the impact that the pandemic and a lack of sustainable funding has had on state-funded nurseries, despite this, the Queen’s speech created hope, revealing the Government’s plans to prioritise early years in their plans to build back better


Further calls for increased funding of the early years sector

This week, The Guardian called on the government to pay more attention to early years, following results from a new survey showing that just one in four state-funded nurseries will be able to remain open with the current levels of funding. The piece argues that high-quality nursery education, including that offered by home based educators and childminders should be understood as a ‘social good’.

You may have seen the recent findings from the APPG for Childcare and Early Education’s survey Parent Perspectives on Early Years Education, which showed that parents feel the current level of funding for the early years is not enough. We have been active advocates for a more sustainable funding model for the early years. Throughout 2021, our own calls for future funding have been published across the country, including in the Independent, the Yorkshire Evening Post and Bolton News.


Early years strategy announced in the Queen’s speech

This week the Queen made reference to the early years in her speech to officially re-open Parliament, in which Her majesty talked about the government’s commitment to prioritise the early years to ensure that children have the best start in life, and that ministers will address lost learning. However, further information on the strategy is yet to be announced, but we like our colleagues in the sector, implore the government to include financial support within that commitment. Read more in Children and Young People Now.

Nursery World also reported on the Queens Speech and the government’s commitment to the early years in more detail here.


Playing make-believe with children helps to reduce future behavioural issues

This week researchers from the University of Cambridge showed that toddlers whose mothers get involved in make-believe play are less likely to exhibit behavioural problems in the future. Early Years Educator reports that when researchers assessed children for signs of behavioural issues two years after the first part of the study, they found evidence that these were less common among children whose mothers engaged in more pretend play when they were toddlers.