This week is Childcare and Early Education Week (25-29 January 2021).
The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the early education sector amongst MPs, Peers, decision-makers and influencers – particularly with regard to private, voluntary and independent (PVI) providers, who make up the majority of the sector – and to build strong relationships between practitioners and their local MP.
It will also celebrate the hard work and dedication of early education professionals, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, where the sector has played an integral part in making up for learning time lost during 2020 and provided an essential service for our keyworkers by remaining open and allowing them to keep the country running.
Childcare and Early Education Week is run and organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Childcare and Early Education.
The APPG exists to support and promote the the childcare and early education sector. As this has been a particularly difficult year for practitioners the APPG wanted to create an opportunity to celebrate you and all of the great work that you do for children and families across the country.
You may be wondering, how can I get involved with Childcare and Early Education Week? The APPG have put together some simple tasks that can help us raise awareness for and better the Childcare sector.
1. Writing to your MP
If you don’t know who your MP is, you can look this up here by typing in your business postcode: https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons. This will tell you who your MP is and provide their contact details via their page on the Parliamentary website.
The best way to contact your MP is by email. A few days after you have done this, if you have not heard back, we recommend calling their office directly to follow up. Their telephone number should be available on the Parliamentary website via the link above. If it is not listed there, most MPs will have their own website with contact details – a quick Google search will be able to direct you to this. You can also call the Parliamentary switchboard on 0207 219 3000 and tell them your local MP’s name and they will transfer you to their Parliamentary office.
We know that nobody understands the challenges facing the early years quite like you do, but in case you are struggling with starting a response, we have provided some key points and suggestions in a template email here. The best letters, which resonate with decision-makers will also include personal insights, and it is best to avoid MPs receiving several copies of the same letter from different constituents, but we hope these suggestions will provide a useful starting point if you need it.
2. Social media
You can also support the campaign via social media. Tweet using the hashtags #ChildcareandEarlyEducationWeek and #CelebratingOurSector to promote what you are celebrating about the early education sector during Childcare and Early Education Week.
3. Parent survey
The APPG will be launching a survey of parents in Childcare and Early Education Week, to gain data and insights into parents’ perspectives on early education. If you would like to take part by distributing this to parents at your setting, please contact them on email@example.com and they will provide the details.