The Royal Foundation publishes its early childhood Taskforce report

A recent report by The Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood has identified a £45.5 billion opportunityfor business to drive, and benefit from,prioritising early childhood in the workplace, community and wider society.

Set up in March 2023 by the Princess of Wales, the Taskforce involves major firms Aviva, The Co-operative Group, Deloitte, Iceland Foods, IKEA UK and Ireland, The LEGO Group, NatWest Group and Unilever UK.

The Taskforce has worked together to identify the scale of the opportunity and the role that business can play in relation to early childhood and this report sets out the first action steps.

Funding for early years apprenticeships and leadership programmes are just some of the new initiatives announced in the report as well as increased support for baby banks and creating welcoming spaces for families and young children.

In a joint statement eight founding CEOs call on “businesses of all sizes, across the UK, to join us and help build a healthy, happy society for everyone.”

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) said: “Early education and care is foundational to children’s lives but also working families and our long-term economy. So we are delighted that the Royal Foundation has got so many employers and organisations on board to emphasise and prioritise the crucial nature of early childhood.

“High quality early education and care can really boost all children’s learning and give them the best start in life, especially those from more disadvantaged backgrounds where we know it can go a long way to closing the attainment gap. For this to happen, childcare providers across the UK need support to remain sustainable in the face of government underfunding and a long-standing recruitment crisis.

“Measures in the report show some innovative approaches to supporting the sector from companies such as NatWest and Co-Operative including apprenticeship levy contributions that could help to bolster the workforce who are instrumental in educating and supporting the development of our youngest children.”

Deloitte have produced ‘Prioritising early childhood for a happier, healthier society’ on behalf of the Taskforce suggesting a happier and more productive workforce and healthier UK economy could be created as a result of a greater focus on early childhood.  This impact could be felt both now and for future generations.

The report highlights how investing in early childhood has the potential to generate at least £45.5 billion in value added for the national economy each year.

Details include:

  •  £12.2bn from equipping people with improved social and emotional skills in early childhood
  •  £16.1bn from reducing the need to spend public funds on remedial steps for adverse childhood experiences
  •  £17.2bn from supporting parents and caregivers of under-fives who work.

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