The Early Years Commission has released its manifesto to transform the lives of our youngest children. The Commission is co-chaired by Sharon Hodgson MP and Edward Timpson CBE MP and supported by Commissioners from across the sector.
The Commission found that just 1 per cent of adults surveyed believe that the children under five have been prioritised the most by the Government during the pandemic.
In summary, the manifesto calls for long-term transformation in early years – to start now as we recover from Covid-19.
We call for:
- An immediate expansion of employment rights for new and expectant parents, including time off for antenatal appointments
- Expanded maternity and paternity rights throughout the first years of a child’s life
- A cross-departmental strategy on the early years
- Increased compulsory health visits
- Dedicated and locally-relevant parental support services
- Support for the professional development of those who work in early years
- Rolling out of children’s centres and family hubs, especially in deprived areas
There is widespread public support for early years investment – YouGov’s poll for the Commission found that 43 per cent would actively support an increase in spending if it were paid for by raising taxes, or by redirecting funds from other services, and just 19 per cent of adults in England would oppose it.
About the YouGov sample
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,023 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th – 18th December 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all English adults (aged 18+).