On Friday I was pleased to visit Rozey Days Montessori School l on Lodge Causeway with Cllr Ellie King. As always, it was great to meet some of the children and see how the nursery is promoting children’s learning, curiosity and development, and to hear about the wider support being provided for parents and carers in need of some extra help.
Sadly however, I also heard that Rozey Days, like many Early Years settings, is seeing the consequences of years of under-funding. The hourly rate paid by the Government for free Early Years places has barely risen at all in recent years, while overheads are soaring. I was particularly concerned to note that the additional hourly rate paid for a child with an EHCP doesn’t begin to cover the cost of one-to-one support. Staff are, understandably, leaving the sector because they can earn more elsewhere.
Both Ellie – who was instrumental in bringing “March of the Mummies” to Bristol last autumn – and I will continue to do what we can to press the Government on the need for proper support for Early Years.