James Bowen, director of policy for school leaders' union NAHT, said: “It is becoming increasingly clear how much financial pressure all Early Years providers are under as a result of the impact of coronavirus. The stark reality is that some of them may simply not survive. The impact of this on families and children would be enormous. Whilst there has been some support from government, this report shows that for many, it has not gone far enough.
“Maintained nursery schools have played a crucial role during the crisis. Many have remained open throughout and provided care and support for some of the most vulnerable children in society. Once again, they have demonstrated the absolutely vital role they play within the Early Years sector. However, they have also been hit with a double whammy of government neglect. Not only will they not be able to access the government’s financial compensation scheme, they have also been excluded from the £1bn ‘catch-up’ funding as well. This decision seems illogical given that it is widely accepted that early intervention is one of the most effective strategies to address gaps in learning. If government does not commit to urgent action, we risk losing more maintained nursery schools at a time when we should be talking about expanding them.”
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