Commenting on The Covid-19 pandemic and the early years workforce: Staffing decisions in an uncertain environment, research published today by the Education Policy Institute (EPI), Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"This report by the EPI is further evidence of the deep financial and structural impact the Coronavirus continues to have on the Early Years sector as a whole.  The Coronavirus has only exacerbated the serious challenges the Early Years sector was already facing.  Financial pressures prior to the pandemic had already forced some private providers and Maintained Nursery Schools to close or make significant savings through staff redundancies.  It is now clear that without government intervention, this situation is only going to worsen in the immediate future.   

"Government inaction is jeopardising the education of millions of children, who are missing out on vital early years education and hindering the ability of parents looking to return to work. Access to good quality early years education vastly improves future educational attainment and the life chances of those pupils, and can significantly improve social mobility. The NEU in its submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review is asking for sufficient funding and resources for the Early Years sector to ensure every child has access to good quality early years education."