Hundreds of providers have already registered on Ceeda’s new Covid-19 data portal, set up to track real-time data relating to nursery closures and numbers of children in settings which are still operating.
Results will be anonymised, collated at local authority level, and shared in table form on a weekly basis.
Managers and owners of nurseries, pre-schools and childminders in England, who respond, will also be invited to complete short follow-up surveys on reasons for closures, access to Government support, staff numbers furloughed and numbers of redundancies, among other things.
Meanwhile, anyone employed in an early years setting will have an opportunity to feed into a new Early Years Workforce Panel will be launched on Monday (20 April). Its aim of is to gather more in-depth information, including on employment status and staff well-being.
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Jo Verrill, Managing Director at Ceeda, said the combined aims of the two projects were to get a picture of what is happening on the ground at the moment, evaluate the impact of Covid-19, highlight the sector’s vital contribution, and find out what support the sector would need to recover.
‘We urge everyone to get involved’ Dr Verrill said. ‘Many in the sector anticipated a tough year, as statutory pay increases in April further widened the yawning chasm between funding rates and operating costs. None, however, could have anticipated the devastation that the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked.
‘With many providers having limited reserves to weather the crisis and guidance on assistance lacking the clarity needed to make confident decisions, the future of the sector is in the balance.’
The potential to extend the portal to Scotland and Wales is also currently being explored.
Access the portal here