Latest childcare and early years news


Coronavirus guidance for nurseries and early years providers

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

See guidance  

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