Last reviewed 16 July 2021

The Early Years Commission has launched a new manifesto which puts forward a number of recommendations to transform the lives of our youngest children.

The Early Years Commission is a cross-party group set up jointly by the Centre for Social Justice and the Fabian Society to explore how to improve services for children from conception to age five.

The manifesto calls for a significant shake up in parental leave rights and major support for the youngest children and their parents as part of the government’s “levelling up” response post-Covid-19.

The manifesto also recommends:

  • Government works with local authorities to develop dedicated, locally-led parent support services in every community

  • building a holistic, cross-departmental strategy on the early years, led by a cabinet minister

  • overhauling the early years funding model, and replacing it with a new settlement that prioritises children more effectively

  • rolling out children’s centres and family hubs across the country, prioritising disadvantaged areas

  • increasing compulsory interactions between children and health visitors

  • building more support for the professional development of those who work in early years.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said:

“Evidence has repeatedly shown that children’s early education and development are absolutely crucial to their long term educational outcomes and their life chances as a result. The Early Years Commission’s report and manifesto underlines how important it is to us as a society to get early years right for children, parents and communities.”

“The public backs better investment in our young children so the Government should be focusing its education recovery efforts in early years where we know it can have the greatest impact. We back the Commission’s recommendations to address underfunding in early years to make sure providers are sustainable and children are truly at the heart of the policy.”

The full manifesto can be found here.