Plain text version:
Dear colleagues and childcare providers,
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has been working in early years settings during the pandemic. Thank you for the high level of care that you have given to Bristol’s children, providing a lifeline for key worker parents and offering a safe haven to some of our youngest residents during a truly tumultuous year.
Over the last year you have demonstrated your unwavering commitment to our city’s youngest children. You have provided a space for our children to continue to grow, learn and interact in circumstances that are constantly changing, providing security in uncertain times. Bristol is hugely grateful for your impressive dedication.
We recognise the challenges that our early years settings have faced over the past year. The pandemic has had a huge impact on funding due to a fall in demand for childcare places since March 2020. In addition, Government’s proposals for the early year census are risking future funding levels at this critical time. It is not clear whether proposals to use current registration levels will be a good basis for future funding and we support calls for a guarantee from Government that they will provide the necessary top-up funds if numbers do increase in coming weeks and months. This will be vital to ensure that critical early years settings like yours remain financially viable, enabling you to continue your essential contribution to our city’s recovery.
As the rollout of the vaccination programme continues, we are hopeful that children will once again return in their numbers to early years settings and that staff and children alike can socialise, play, learn and grow free of the challenges of the current environment. But until that day arrives, we want you to know that we greatly appreciate and admire your efforts through this difficult time, and the service you provide has proven itself invaluable to our city.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Families, and Homes, including Children’s Services