ADCS responds to a weekend of new government announcements

Responding to a weekend of new government announcements, Jenny Coles, President of ADCS, said:

On Friday 17 April, the government published new guidance on financial support for early years and childcare providers:

“Both leaders of children’s services and early years providers have been clear that the level of funding attached to the government’s subsidised child care offer falls short of covering actual running costs, as evidenced by providers charging parents and carers top ups for food and activities, withdrawing from the scheme or going out of business. From the very outset of its pandemic response, the government recognised that access to reliable childcare was essential for key workers. Settings have remained open so that teachers, doctors, nurses and social workers could continue with their vital work and the most vulnerable children could retain some certainty and stability.

“Although we, like the government, are alive to the issue of double funding, such a significant change in official guidance at such a late stage may serve to push greater numbers of providers and settings into insolvency resulting in a chronic shortage of places once restrictions are eased. Access to childcare will be essential to rebuilding the economy, we urge the government to engage with us and providers to understand the impact of this changing advice in both the short and longer term.”

On Saturday 18 April the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced additional funding for local government:

“We welcome the provision of a further £1.6 billion in emergency funding for local authorities over the weekend. Covid-19 is affecting every area of our work and every single community so this money will contribute to our continued response to this crisis and our efforts to provide help and support to the most vulnerable children, young people and families.”

On Sunday 19 April the Secretary of State for Education announced a suite of measures relating to his Department’s remit:

“The news that laptops, tablets and internet facilities are in the process of being procured for the benefit of learners who do not have access to this equipment in their home is welcome. This will help them to access the new learning resources from the BBC and Oak National Academy, which were also announced by the Secretary of State for Education. We will continue to work with the Secretary of State, his staff and school leaders on the logistics of distribution in the coming days and weeks.

“The majority of children are not being seen regularly by teachers, school nurses, GPs, dentists or sports coaches due to lockdown, this means they and their needs are less visible. The government has provided £1.6 million to the NSPCC to boost access to its helpline for adults who are worried about the safety and wellbeing of a child or young person. Any steps to raise both the profile and awareness of the risk of harm some children face is welcome, it’s more important than ever that communities and neighbours look out for each other and for children’s best interests. I know local safeguarding partnerships have been and continue to work hard to raise awareness of hidden harm and sources of information and advice if someone is worried about a child.”

ENDS



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