Early Years Scotland is calling on the next Scottish Government to provide immediate practical and financial support to help the sector mitigate the impact of the pandemic and prepare for the implementation of 1140 hours of free Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in August.
In a ‘minifesto’ for the forthcoming Holyrood elections, Early Years Scotland says that the sector has been seriously damaged by COVID-19, and that without significant government intervention over the next few months many ELC settings and early years groups may have to close.
Early Years Scotland Chief Executive, Jane Brumpton, said: “The effects of the COVID restrictions on our sector can’t be underestimated. Losing income from parental fees, while having to increase staffing to comply with guidance, for example, has had a considerable financial impact on ELC settings. At the same time, the long-term closure of unregulated parent and toddler groups and playgroups could mean that many won’t be able to re-open at all.
“A broken early years sector means that children and families suffer, and that’s why we are urging the new Scottish Government to recognise the gravity of the situation and prioritise support to the sector.”
Among the other measures Early Years Scotland would like to see taken is the introduction of a national pay scale, the creation of a new ELC fund to help low-income families, more support for the health and wellbeing of the ELC workforce and parents, and a fresh approach to children’s transition from ELC to primary school.
Download the manifesto here.
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