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COVID-19 and Social Mobility

Impact Brief #4: Early Years


As with most areas of society and human life, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed enormous challenges to the early years sector, which caters for about 2.1 million children under the age of 5 years. The economic and public health consequences of the crisis are threatening to deepen existing patterns of vulnerability and under-achievement for young children and families, especially those living in poverty and disadvantage. Early years and childcare was recognised as serving a vital function to the economy and an essential service to enable other keyworkers to continue to work during the pandemic. The government announced that early years settings should remain open where they are needed to provide childcare for the children of critical workers who cannot be cared for safely at home, and vulnerable children. To support the sector during the crisis, the government has offered a range of support, including continued funding from local authorities for the free entitlements for two, three and four-year-olds regardless of whether they were continuing to attend. While this support is welcomed it should be recognised that the early years and childcare sector is a very complex, mixed economy of maintained, private, voluntary and self-employed providers. For many providers, the government support does not cover their costs, especially in some geographical areas where government funding is lower than their fixed costs or where they offer fewer government funded places, and many fear closure over the next year. This report is the fourth in a series of impact briefs released by the Sutton Trust in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, looking at the implications of the current crisis on early years provision, with a focus on young children and families from less advantaged backgrounds. The brief will look at how children, parents and providers have been impacted and explore how government can lessen the impact of the crisis both now and in the in the future to ensure all children and families, no matter their background, can access the benefits of high quality early education and care services.


Distance-Schooling, England, Frühkindliche Bildung, Gesundheitspsychologie, International, Kinder im Vorschulalter, Lebenssituation, (Literatur-)Review


Pascal, Chris, Bertram, Tony, Cullinane, Carl, Holt-White, Erica (2020). COVID-19 and Social Mobility. Impact Brief #4: Early Years.

Zuletzt geändert am 22. Juli 2022.