Covid-19 and childcare: Understanding the impacts across England

Frontier is part of a team of researchers launching a major new study into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on early education and care services across England.

The study aims to highlight how the national and local system might be improved to support sustainable, high quality provision for the longer term.

With funding from the Nuffield Foundation, Frontier will work alongside the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, the Universities of East London and Birmingham, Coram Family and Childcare, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Evidence will be gathered from national and local stakeholders, providers, parents and employers, beginning with an opportunity for Early Years leads in all Local Authorities to participate in an interview on the role of their Local Authority and local experience during the crisis.

The study addresses five questions:

  • How is the pandemic affecting children’s and parents’ needs for and access to early education and care services in different local contexts?
  • How is Covid-19 changing the nature and viability of early education and care provision in different local contexts, and how are services responding?
  • Has local support for early education and care services mitigated the effects of the pandemic, and how is this mediated by local labour market conditions?
  • What opportunities and weaknesses in the early education and care system are highlighted by Covid-19, and what can we learn from these about building resilience in the system?
  • What should the role of local authorities be, and what tools do they need to support the early education and care system in future?

Interim findings will be available from summer 2021 and the final report in spring 2022.

Further information about the study can be found here and specific enquiries can be sent to