Latest childcare and early years news

Coronavirus guidance for nurseries and early years providers

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See the latest guidance on coronavirus / COVID-19 for nurseries and early years settings on our dedicated page here, updated regularly. 

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Ofsted: guidance on significant events or changes to health  

13 January 2022

NDNA had an urgent meeting today (13 January) with Ofsted today about the guidance document 'Childcare: reporting significant events and changes to health'. This has been taken down by Ofsted for review and we welcome this approach. Read more              


How many staff and children are absent – January quick poll 

7 January 2022

NDNA has put together a very short survey for all nurseries across England, Scotland and Wales to find out the proportion of members of staff and children who are currently absent from their early years setting. Read more              


Struggling settings can ask for an Ofsted inspection deferral 

5 January 2022

Ofsted has announced that early years settings in England which are currently significantly affected by the Covid pandemic can ask for a deferral of their routine inspection. Read more               


Child of the North report: Inequalities have worsened during pandemic 

8 December 2021

A report published today by the Northern Health Science Alliance, Child of the North: Building a fairer future after Covid-19 paints a stark picture caused by chronic underfunding in the North of England. Read more              


Ofsted report: 98% still good or outstanding but more recent inspection concerns 

7 December 2021

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman launched Ofsted’s Annual Report 2020-21 today. Read more              


New shadow education ministers in place


6 December 2021

Labour has appointed a new Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Shadow Early Years Minister for their Shadow Cabinet. Read more              


Funding rates to rise for 22-23 by less than inflation 

25 November 2021

Today the Government has published its early years entitlement funding rates from the Department for Education to local authorities in England for two, three and four-year-old places. Read more             


Funded places for all two-year-olds in Wales 

23 November 2021

A deal between the Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru in the Senedd will mean that a programme of work – including expanding “free” childcare to all two-year-olds – will take place. Read more              


Fabulous NMT awards night celebrates sector 

22 November 2021

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists who celebrated at the NMT 19th National Nursery Awards 2021 on Saturday.
 Read more              


High employment rates will put stress on early years recruitment 

16 November 2021

The Office for National Statistics released its latest figures for the UK labour market this week.  Read more              


Real Living Wage rise announced in the UK 

15 November 2021

The Real Living Wage has increased today to £9.90 in the UK and to £11.05 in London. Read more             


Education Secretary puts climate change at the heart of education 

5 November 2021

In the midst of the COP26 summit, the Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi MP, has come out today to empower nursery children to take action on the environment in his new aim to “put climate change at the heart of education”
Read more            


Early education leads to better outcomes at school 

1 November 2021

According to the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) Impact Study on Early Education Use and Child Outcomes up to age seven years, attending early education of any type was associated with better academic results in school. Read more             


Ministers confirm year on year funding increases at Spending Review

27 October 2021
Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has delivered the Autumn Budget and Spending Review today (27 October). Read more                


NDNA sends joint letter to Chancellor ahead of Budget 

27 October 2021
Rishi Sunak

NDNA has joined other early education organisations, parent bodies and unions, including Pacey, UNISON, Pregnant then Screwed and others in writing a joint letter to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of today's Budget announcement. Read more               


Budget and Spending Review: No mention of funding to support early years delivery 

25 October 2021
Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to make announcements to support children and families in the upcoming Budget and Spending Review on Wednesday. Read more              


Increasing childcare funding rate would give economic gains – new report

14 October 2021

Centre for Progressive Policy logo
A report by the Centre for Progressive Policy “Women in the Labour Market” shows that lack of affordable and accessible childcare is a barrier to maternal employment, resulting in billions in lost earnings. Read more                      


Early years recruitment costs must be reflected in funding rates 

12 October 2021

Higher employment figures and higher wages will exacerbate the early years sector’s already challenging recruitment and retention issues, says NDNA. A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released today (12 October) gives a picture of numbers of employees returning to pre-pandemic levels with unemployment down and vacancies soaring. Read more             


LGA calls for significant funding rates increase

07 October 2021

Local Government Association Logo
In its Spending Review submission, the Local Government Association (LGA) calls for a “significant increase in funding rates for early entitlements in all settings to enable the early years sector to reduce the disadvantage gap and allow all children the opportunity of the best possible start.” Read more                     


UNCRC Incorporation delayed by Supreme Court judgement

06 October 2021

Supreme Court logo

Today the UK Supreme Court ruled that four aspects of the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill will need to be re-considered by the Scottish Parliament. Read more                     


ELC offer saving families money – Scottish Government report 

05 October 2021

Clare Haughey

The Scottish Government has published its Early Learning and Childcare expansion delivery progress report revealing that the families of more than 79,000 children are saving almost £5,000 per child annually due to the ELC offer. Read more                   


New Education Secretary recognises importance of early years

05 October 2021

Nadhim Zahawi MP

The new Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi made his first speech at the Conservative party conference yesterday. Read more                  


Reducing ratios newspaper article – NDNA’s response

04 October 2021

Purnima Tanuku OBE

A front page article in the Telegraph on Saturday suggested that the Government is looking at reducing ratios of children to adults in childcare settings in England. Read more                 


Shadow Education Minister addresses Labour party conference 

28 September 2021

Kate Green MP

The Shadow Education Minister Kate Green MP addressed the Labour party conference today. Read more                


Nurseries dazzle at the Nursery World Awards 2021 

27 September 2021

Nursery World Awards 2021 logo
The Nursery World Awards 2021 ceremony took place on Saturday night (25 September) at the Brewery in London and a number of NDNA members were crowned winners. Read more               


Extra support announced for childcare sector in Wales

24 September 2021

Julie Morgan
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan MS, which includes responsibility for early years and childcare, has released a written statement announcing £5.1million of extra support for the childcare and play services sector. Read more              


Minister denies early years sector is in crisis 

14 September 2021

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford told a packed parliamentary debate that there were no issues with funding, sufficiency, childcare costs, closures or practitioners living in poverty. Read more             


Wales: Rates relief extended for providers 

06 September 2021

Julie Morgan - Deputy Minister for Social Services

Registered child care premises in Wales will benefit from 100% non-domestic rates relief for an additional three years, the Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan has announced. Read more    


Scottish Financial Sustainability Health Check reveals evidence on sector’s sustainability 

31 August 2021

Scottish Government logo

The Scottish Government has published the findings of its Financial Sustainability Health Check of the Childcare Sector in Scotland.  Read more   


Sutton Trust: Give all children access to 30 hours funded childcare

19 August 202

The Sutton Trust has published a major piece of research that sets out the case for improving access to early education for the poorest children.  Read more  


Hard work of nurseries recognised in annual awards

05 August 2021 logo has announced the winners of its annual Nursery Awards 2021. Read more          


Local authorities remain concerned about future of childcare sector

29 July 2021

Coram Family and Childcare logo

Coram Family and Childcare and Frontier Economics has released its latest report Covid and Childcare: The Role of Local Authorities. Read more         


Early years representatives call for critical status for vital practitioners

23 July 2021

National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has joined with other leading early years organisations the Early Years Alliance and the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) to call on the Government to add early years and childcare practitioners to the list of essential workers offered an exemption to the current self-isolation rules. Read more        


Early years not recognised as key sector under self-isolation exemption 

23 July 2021

NDNA logoUpdated Test and Trace guidance for the Workplace has been published identifying 16 key sectors that will be exempt from self-isolating should they come into contact with a positive case of Covid-19. Read more       


Updates to Development Matters

22 July 2021

Department for Education logo

The Department for Education has published a revised version of Development Matters following feedback on the original version first published in September 2020. Read more      


NDNA research used in Parliament

22 July 2021

A debate was held by MPs in Parliament yesterday on early education funding. Read more     


Plans to reduce self-isolation in critical roles

20 July 2021

The Government has announced plans for critical workers not to need to self-isolate. Read more   


Social Mobility Commission calls for children to be at centre of pandemic recovery

20 July 2021

Social Mobility Commission logo

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) has published its latest State of the Nation report 2021, unveiling details of the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across all four UK nations. Read more  


NDNA agrees that it’s time to make staff wellbeing a policy 

13 July 2021

Anna Freud logo

The Anna Freud Centre has today published its findings from a survey about staff wellbeing alongside NDNA’s sample wellbeing policy. Read more


Early Years commission launch manifesto 

08 July 2021

 Early Years commission launch manifesto

The Early Years Commission set up jointly by the Centre for Social Justice and the Fabian Society have today released a new manifesto and findings from a YouGov survey. Read more


No more bubbles from 19 July – new EY guidance

07 July 2021

Gavin Williamson

Following statements in Parliament yesterday by the Health Minister and Education Minister, early years settings will no longer be responsible for contact tracing or keeping children in small groups or bubbles from 19 July. Read more                               


Government not planning review of childcare system

24 June 2021

Petitions logo

In response to an ongoing petition signed by more than 110,000 people, the Government has said it is not currently planning a review of the childcare system. Read more                              


The Duchess of Cambridge launches The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood

18 June 2021

Kate Middleton - The Royal Foundation Centre for Early ChildhoodThe Duchess of Cambridge has launched The Royal Foundation for Early Childhood and her Big Change Starts Small report. Read more                             


NDNA adds support to petition calling for independent review of childcare sector

07 June 2021

Petitions logo

NDNA is backing the latest petition calling for the Government to commission an independent review of childcare funding and affordability. Read more                            


Sir Kevan Collins resigns over Covid-19 catch-up plans

02 June 2021

Government logo

Education recovery commissioner Sir Kevan Collins wrote to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday to offer his resignation after just 5 months in the role. Read more                           


Government includes early years in next step of recovery plan

02 June 2021

Department for Education logo

The Department for Education has announced its next step in the Government’s education recovery plan to ensure no child loses out on their education as a result of the pandemic. Read more                          


Non-maintained nurseries included in latest Welsh Government funding announcement

26 May 2021

Welsh Government logo

The Welsh Government has announced an extra £13m of additional support during the pandemic for early years learners in schools and non-maintained settings. Read more                         


Scottish Government appointments announced 

26 May 2021

Scottish Government logo

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP has announced her new government. Read more                        


NAHT recovery blueprint calls for government to prioritise early years

26 May 2021

NAHT logo

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has published ‘A blueprint for a stronger and fairer system for all’ which sets out recommendations for the government to include in its own, as yet unpublished, ‘recovery report’. Read more                       


Welsh Government Cabinet Appointments announced

21 May 2021

Welsh Government logo

The Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has announced his new government ministers in Wales. Read more                      


Sutton Trust highlights parental concerns owing to pandemic 

20 May 2021
Sutton Trust logo

New research from the Sutton Trust has been released detailing parents’ concerns about their children as a result of the pandemic. The new polling shows that over two-thirds of pre-school parents say not being able to play with other children has negatively impacted their child. Read more                     


Report recognises importance of childcare for working single parents

19 May 2021
Gingerbread logo

Gingerbread has launched Caring without Sharing, a report looking at the unique challenges faced by working single parents as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – including a lack of affordable childcare. Read more                    


EPI recovery plans for early years education

14 May 2021
Education Policy Institute logo

A new report from the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has revealed that a three-year funding package totalling £13.5bn will be required by the government to reverse the damage to pupils’ learning as a result of the pandemic. Read more                   


Queen’s Speech: “Government will ensure children have best start in life”

11 May 2021
Westminster view

In the Queen’s Speech outlining the Government’s priorities at the State opening of Parliament, the speech stated that the Government will ensure that children have the best start in life with a focus on early years. Read more                  


Scottish Lib Dems to extend free ELC

19 April 2021
Scottish Liberal Democrats logo

The Scottish Liberal Democrats has released its manifesto for the upcoming May elections including promises on childcare. Read more                 


SNP pledges extension to funded ELC

15 April 2021
SNP logo

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has released its manifesto for the upcoming May elections including promises on childcare. Read more                


Expansion of ELC: Principles of Partnership Working updated

29 March 2021
NDNA Scotland logo

NDNA Scotland and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) have updated and agreed principles of partnership working in early learning and childcare (ELC). Read more               


Government review: babies and children to get better start  

25 March 2021

A Government review into inequalities in children’s first 1,001 days has led to an action plan to improve their health outcomes in England. Read more             


Historic moment for children’s rights in Scotland

17 March 2021
NDNA Scotland logo

On 16 March 2021 Scotland became the first devolved nation in the world to directly incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law. Read more               


Childcare costs rise by 4% as providers struggle to remain sustainable 

09 March 2021
Coram Family and Childcare logo

Coram Family and Childcare has revealed in its latest survey that childcare costs have risen by 4% as providers struggle to remain sustainable throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more              


Budget 2021: business rates relief extended 

03 March 2021

The Chancellor has today announced a package of recovery measures in his Budget speech including further business rates relief for nursery businesses. Read more             


Unclear how much of £700 million education recovery allocated to early years 

24 February 2020

The Government today announced a £700million investment to help children catch up on missed learning and development – but only a small amount earmarked for early years and reception. Read more            


Testing kits WILL be distributed to PVI nurseries 

22 February 2021
Gavin Williamson

Following weeks of campaigning and lobbying, the DfE has finally agreed to distribute home testing kits to all early years providers including PVI nurseries from 22 March. Read more             


Education catch-up plans fail to offer support needed  

18 February 2021

A new report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) finds that the education catch-up plans of all four UK nations offer insufficient support for pupils, and are unlikely to address the scale of learning loss following the pandemic. Read more             


Deputy Minister thanks childcare sector in Wales 

12 February 2021
Julie Morgan

Julie Morgan AS/MS, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, has written a letter thanking the childcare sector for all of their hard work and commitment throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more                                    


Majority of nursery workers supporting children with challenging and complex issues

11 February 2021

Anna Freud logo

A new report Their challenges are our challenges from the Anna Freud Centre revealed that a high proportion of nursery practitioners have been working with children with challenging emotional and behavioural needs. Read more                                   


Pandemic made existing inequalities worse, says Women and Equalities Committee

09 February 2021

Caroline Nokes MP

The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report on Covid-19 and the gendered economic impact it has had - for many women it has made existing equality problems worse. Read more                                  


NDNA Members have excellent awards night

05 February 2021

Nursery World Awards 2020 logo

Congratulations to all the nurseries and practitioners who were shortlisted and won awards at the Nursery World Awards 2021. Read more                                 


Nurseries in Scotland to reopen on 22 February

02 February 2021

Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced in Parliament today that all children can return to their early years setting from 22 February, just after half term. Read more                                


Foundation Phase will be the same as Childcare Offer

02 February 2021

Julie Morgan

After years of lobbying, the Welsh Government has announced this week it will give funding to local authorities to align the Foundation Phase rate to the Childcare Offer of £4.50. Read more                               


Minister responds to NDNA regarding testing and vaccinations

29 January 2021

Vicky Ford MP

The Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford MP has written to NDNA’s Chief Executive to respond to NDNA’s queries about testing and vaccination for PVI nursery staff. Read more                              


Covid notifications in nurseries rise in January

25 January 2021

Department for Education logo

The numbers of Covid notifications from early years settings has more than doubled at the beginning of this year. Read more                            


IFS: unclear whether current registration levels will reflect actual demand 

22 January 2021

IFS logo
The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has put out a report today which analyses the DfE’s funding mechanism for the spring term, the January census and how their plans have changed now to include children who are registered for a place but not physically in nursery yet. Read more                           


Working mum wins her claim challenging the requirement for parents on Universal Credit to meet childcare costs upfront 

22 January 2021

Child - court
Single mum Nichola Salvato has won her legal case regarding the requirement to provide proof of payment to obtain Universal Credit childcare payments. Read more                          


Sector risks becoming unsustainable - commission calls for change

18 January 2021

Early Years Workforce Commission logo
The Early Years Workforce Commission, which includes NDNA and a range of early years organisations, providers and research groups, has released a new report on the crisis in the early years workforce. Read more                         


Attendance in nursery has plummeted this month

13 January 2021

Department for Education logo

New statistics released by the Department for Education show that the number of children attending early years providers has vastly reduced since December. Read more                      


Temporary financial support for Scotland nurseries

13 January 2021

John Swinney MSP

The Deputy First Minister John Swinney has today announced further temporary financial support for services who are currently only permitted to operate for vulnerable children or those of key workers. Read more                      


Final push for vaccinations petition 

11 January 2021

Petitions logo

A petition calling for teachers and early years workers to be considered a priority alongside teachers for vaccinations now has over 455,000 signatures and will be debated by MPs. Read more                     


DfE reveals reasoning behind its decision to keep nurseries open

05 January 2021

Department for Education logo

The Department for Education has shared with NDNA its rationale behind keeping nurseries open to all children but closing schools to most pupils. Read more                      


Chancellor announces support for businesses during lockdown

05 January 2021

Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced a further £4bn of support for businesses adversely affected by the lockdown. Read more                     


NDNA calls for nursery staff to be prioritised for vaccine

05 January 2021

Purnima Tanuku OBE

Nurseries and childcare providers are being put in an intolerable position by the Government as some schools are told to close but early years settings advised to stay open. Read more                    


Nurseries being put in intolerable position

04 January 2021

Gavin Williamson

Nurseries and childcare providers are being put in an intolerable position by the Government as some schools are told to close but early years settings advised to stay open. Read more                   


Purnima’s Christmas message: you have been a pillar of strength

22 December 2020

Child in santa hat

NDNA’s CEO Purnima Tanuku OBE has filmed a special Christmas message to the sector and for the sector. Read more                  


LAs anticipate closure of providers following Covid funding 

22 December 2020
Coram Family and Childcare logo

New research from Coram Family and Childcare reveals that over half (58%) of local authorities in England believe local childcare providers will permanently close as a result of COVID-19 support being withdrawn. Read more                 


Funding rates to increase by a few pence 

17 December 2020
Department for Education logo

The Chancellor announced an additional £44m for early years in the Spending Review and now the Government has published its Early Years Funding rates for 2021/22 which will come in from April. Read more                


Local authorities will no longer fund nurseries at pre-Covid levels 

17 December 2020
Child looking at computer

The arrangements for the spring term 2021 will mean that nurseries and other childcare providers will be funded at their actual attendance levels rather than pre-Covid levels. Read more                   


Ofsted briefing: serious concerns for early years sector

15 December 2020
Amanda Spielman

Research from Ofsted’s interviews with providers reveal the full impact of the challenges early years providers are facing, with falling numbers of children and financial pressures causing a third to worry about closure. Read more               


New date for 1140 hours expansion announced

15 December 2020
Maree Todd

Maree Todd, the Children’s Minister, has announced that all eligible children will benefit from at least 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare (ELC) from August 2021. Read more              


Graduates have positive association with children’s outcomes 

10 December 2020

A new report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) shows that having a graduate in an early years setting has a “positive association with children’s learning outcomes which are sustained into primary school”. Read more             


Childcare ‘underfunded’ impacting sector wide pay, Low Pay Commission finds 

09 December 2020

This year’s Low Pay Commission report states that childcare is underfunded and its workers bear the consequences of this. Read more             


Government will pay for Childcare Level 3 qualifications in England 

09 December 2020

The Government has announced today that thousands of adults in England will benefit from free courses from April, which includes Level 3 childcare qualifications. Read more             


Scottish nursery rate relief extended until 2023 

4 December 2020
John Swinney MSP

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP has announced that qualifying day nurseries in Scotland will continue to benefit from 100% non-domestic rates relief until at least June 2023. Read more                


The future of nurseries and early years settings debated in Parliament

4 December 2020
APPG for childcare and early education logo

Nurseries and early years providers were the subject of a debate in Parliament on Thursday 3 December. Read more               


Ofsted announce assurance inspections as full inspection activity delayed

3 December 2020
Amanda Spielman

Ofsted has announced a phased return to inspections in 2021 including plans for inspections and regulatory work in early years. Read more              


Ofsted Annual Report: 98% of nurseries judged good or outstanding 

1 December 2020

More nurseries and pre-schools than ever before have been judged as good or outstanding, according to Ofsted’s Annual Report 2019/20. Read more