It takes a village to raise a child. For some that village consists of family and friends whose houses they are no longer able to visit. For others it consists of playgroups and support networks that have been closed since March 2020. Young children are no longer being seen or heard in our communities.

Andrea Leadsom MP admits that restrictions have created an ‘accidental experiment’ for early years development. It is time for this experiment to end.

Our recent survey of parents revealed that: 

60% of parents
are now more concerned about their child’s development than they were at the start of the pandemic.
86% of parents aged one and under
have not had any access to baby weighing clinics since the first lockdown began.
Only half of children without access to formal childcare
are spending more than 30 minutes socialising with other under 5’s each week.
We believe it is possible for society to protect the vulnerable from coronavirus without causing harm to our children. Specifically, we are calling for:
Urgent reinstatement of baby weighing clinics and health visitor home visits
These are often the first point of call for parents in raising concerns, in addition to being vital tools for the early detection of developmental and safeguarding issues. Digital provision of services is no substitute.
Reopening of community-based playgroups and early years activities
We strongly believe that parent and child groups are vital support groups that should be permitted under current lockdown legislation. Yet we also know unclear and ever changing guidelines and misinformation about safety mean many have not reopened since March 2020. This has to change. Children need to be free to play, socialise and touch.
Child friendly implementation and communication of public health measures
Children learn from observing and modelling the world around them. Use of face coverings, messaging that children are ‘killing Granny’ is not conducive to a healthy learning environment.

"Unsafe conditions, negative interactions and lack of educational opportunities during the early years can lead to irreversible outcomes, which can affect a child’s potential for the remainder of his or her life."

UNICEF, “Early childhood development and COVID-19”, April 2020
Your questions, comments and concerns are important to us. Thank you for contacting the UsforThem Early Years team!

Join UsforThem Early Years England Facebook Group:

Campaign Briefings and Templates

Face coverings in childcare settings

Face coverings in childcare settings
For use by parents wishing to object to their childcare provider mandating face coverings at drop off and pick up.

Press release

Press release
Initial campaign press release, as shared with media contacts on 7th January 2021.

Guidelines for reopening Early Years

Guidelines for reopening Early Years
A briefing paper for Playgroups, Children’s Centres, early years providers and venues

Template letter to a group leader/coordinator

Template letter to a group leader/coordinator
Re-opening with restrictions

Template letter to a group leader/coordinator

Template letter to a group leader/coordinator
To use when early year settings do not have plans to reopen