Ceeda launches new tracker to measure real-time impact of coronavirus on the early years sector


The early years sector is getting behind a major research programme from independent analysts Ceeda, to measure the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on providers and staff.

Launched today, the COVID-19 Data Portal will continuously monitor two vital facts: if a setting is operating and if so, how many vulnerable and key worker children are attending.
A super-fast, simple interface will capture impact in minutes, tracking the scale of temporary and permanent closures and the numbers of children receiving vital provision.

Alongside bite-size polls of providers using the portal, the research will provide vital intelligence on:

  1. What is happening on the ground right now
  2. The contribution the sector is making to the national coronavirus effort
  3. What is needed to support providers during the crisis
  4. What it will take to rebuild the sector in the future.

All registered childminders, nurseries and pre-schools in England are urged to register on the portal, with the potential for expanding its reach to Scotland and Wales currently being explored.

Find out more and register HERE 

The launch of the portal will be closely followed by a campaign to track and highlight the experience of early years staff during the crisis; further details on the Early Years Workforce Panel will be announced on Monday.

Funded by the Early Years Alliance, CACHE, Connect Childcare and Bertram Nursery Group, the research campaigns will place a spotlight on the early years sector and the vital role it is playing in the coronavirus crisis. Delivery of the research is also being supported by the National Day Nurseries Association, PACEY, London Early Years Foundation, Nursery World and a host of other leading sector organisations.

Dr Jo Verrill, Managing Director at Ceeda 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. This timely work will highlight the sector’s vital contribution, evaluate impact and support needs and inform future sector recovery. We urge everyone to get involved.”

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance said:

“To date, much of the public focus on the childcare sector during the coronavirus outbreak has been around the negative impact of closures and fees on parents. As such, we're pleased that the Covid Portal will provide much-needed accurate data on provider activity, and in turn, ensure that we have a realistic and fair picture of exactly how much support the early years sector is providing during this difficult period, and - equally importantly - how much support we ourselves will need to be able to recover from this crisis.

“Crucially, this data will be real-time, meaning that it will be able to keep up with what is a rapidly-changing situation. We are very pleased to support the launch of this portal and urge every single provider to register.”