The COVID-19 pandemic has posed enormous challenges to the early years sector, which caters for about 2.1 million children under the age of 5 years. The economic and public health consequences of the crisis are threatening to deepen existing patterns of vulnerability and under-achievement for young children and families, especially those living in poverty and disadvantage.
Early years are a crucial stage for social mobility, with the poorest children already 11 months behind their better-off peers before they start school and that attending high-quality early years provision provides a vital opportunity to narrow this gap before children start school. This report looks at how the pandemic is impacting the early years sector, particularly children, parents and providers in disadvantaged communities. A full source of references is given at the end.
- 34% of early years providers in deprived areas may have to close within a year
- 42% of early years providers in deprived areas are likely to make redundancies
- 65% of parents without childcare are feeling stressed, worried or overwhelmed