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Regulating for quality in early education and childcare Ann Gross.

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1 Regulating for quality in early education and childcare Ann Gross

2  Background and Context  Families in the Foundation Years  Further reform  Conclusions/Questions Today…

3  According to the OECD (2011) the UK: –spends an above-average proportion of GDP per capita on every pre-school child – just over 19%. The Swiss only spend 11%, while the Poles spend 32%. –has slightly above-average class sizes for pre-school children at just over 15. But in Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, there are fewer than 10 children for every adult. –has the 13 th highest proportion of 3-4 year olds enrolled in institutional childcare, but at 88.6%, well above average. France scores highest, while in the US only 46% of 3-4 year olds are in formal childcare. –is in the top ten for the quality of school life (4th), but in the bottom ten on Educational Well- Being, Health and Safety and Risky behaviours.  Nearly four million children live in low-income households and the UK has a higher proportion of children living in workless households than any other European Union country. The system in context

4  44% of three and four year olds take up free early education places in Private, Voluntary or Independent settings, and 56% in in maintained nursery and state- funded primary schools - more three year olds are in PVI and more four year olds are in maintained provision (Reception Class)  Continuing increase in number of full day care places – up 32% from 2006, though slower in disadvantaged areas  Small decline in number of registered childminders and in nursery school places, but an increase in provision in primary schools.  Laing & Buisson (2011) report a market strengthening following capacity contraction in  But 19% of full day care and 20% of sessional care providers say they are operating at a loss. Pattern of Provision: A Mixed Market

5  Mix of supply and demand side funding, and public funding and parental contributions.  Government investment via: –Early Intervention Grant (Sure Start Children’s Centres) –Free early education for 3 and 4 year olds –From 2013 free early education for 20% most disadvantaged 2 year olds –4 year olds full time in school Reception classes from September after 4 th birthday  Tax Credits (£2bn on childcare element) moving to new Universal Credit – additional £300m for childcare above baseline recently announced.  Tax relief on employer supported childcare, e.g. vouchers. Funding

6 We know that the foundation years matter…  Children develop quickly - experiences between birth and age 5 have a major impact on their future life chances.  How well a child does at the end of the foundation stage, directly correlates (although it varies) to achievement at the end of Key Stage 1.  And high quality pre-school has a positive impact on social and behavioural outcomes at age 11: better self regulation, pro-social behaviour and reduced hyperactivity and anti-social behaviour. Source: Sylva et al 2004, EPPE Project final report

7 …and things are improving.  More children are reaching a good level of development in the foundation stage, and while children eligible for free school meals do less well the gap to their peers is closing.  And the quality of settings (as judged by Ofsted) is also improving - at June 2011, 11% of settings were outstanding, 61% good, 27% satisfactory and 1% inadequate.

8 The Government has renewed the focus Child Poverty Review Frank Field MP Early Intervention Graham Allen MP EYFS Dame Clare Tickell Child Protection Professor Eileen Munro The Government believes that strong and stable families of all kinds are the bedrock of a strong and stable society. That is why we need to make our society more family friendly … (Coalition agreement, May 2010)  Strong commitment from the coalition Government which commissioned a series of reviews.

9 A coherent strategy for the foundation years  The first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important – they shape children’s development, how well they do at school, their ongoing health and well being and their achievements later in life….  Families in the Foundation Years – the Government’s vision of the offer to parents, from pregnancy to age 5, published in July.  Supporting Families in the Foundation Years – for commissioners and the workforce how they can deliver on our vision  Evidence Pack  A parent friendly website with resources and links to help mothers and fathers who care for babies and young children on 4Children’s companion website

10 Key factors promoting health and development Children’s health. Giving every child the best start in life is crucial to reducing health inequalities across the life course. The foundations for virtually every aspect of human development – physical, intellectual and emotional – are laid in early childhood. What happens during these early years (starting in the womb) has lifelong effects on many aspects of health and well-being. Marmot, M. (2010) Good maternal mental health. Overall children of mothers with mental ill health are five times more likely to have mental health problems themselves, resulting in both emotional and behavioural difficulties. Meltzer, H. et al. (2003) Parenting style. Effective warm authoritative parenting gives children confidence, a sense of well-being and self worth. It also stimulates brain development and the capacity to learn. Utting, D. (2009) Learning activities. The home learning environment has a greater influence on a child’s intellectual and social development than parental occupation, education or income. What parents do is more important than who they are, and a home learning environment that is supportive of learning can counteract the effects of disadvantage in the early years. Melhuish, E., Sylva, K., Sammons, P. et al. (2008) High quality early education. Attending a high or medium quality pre-school has a lasting effect in promoting or sustaining better social/behavioural outcomes, in terms of increased ‘self-regulation’, higher ‘pro-social’ behaviour and lower ‘anti-social’ behaviour levels at age 11. Siraj-Blatchford, I. et al. (2011)

11 The Government’s Vision  In ‘Families in the Foundation Years’ the government set out a suite of policies which focus on the most disadvantaged to close the gap and reduce the cycle of low achievement and deprivation Preparing for parenthood Transition to parenthood 2 year oldsFree early educationPrimary school  Midwives, GPs and health visitors  Shared parenting  Preparing for Birth and Beyond  4200 extra health visitors  High-quality delivery of Healthy Child Programme  Family Nurse Partnerships  New 2 yr old entitlement to early education (2013)  New requirement on providers to provide a summary of progress between 2 and 3  Universal entitlement to 15 hours over 38 weeks  New flexibilities from 2012  Choice of school  Reception classes will consolidate and extend children’s learning before KS1. Sure Start and health services

12 Principles and priorities  The foundation years are vitally important in their own right and for promoting future life chances.  The moral argument is clear and the economic argument increasingly well understood.  There is a consensus we need to do more, by: 1.Ensuring a focus on child development; 2.Recognising parents and families need to be at the heart of foundation years services; 3.Promoting effective and evidence-based early intervention; 4.Working to improve the quality of the workforce; and 5.Establishing a new relationship between central government, commissioners and providers.

13  The Government will:  increase the health visitor workforce by 4,200 by 2015;  introduce a reformed Early Years Foundation Stage by 2012;  maintain universal free early education for 3&4 year olds, and extend this free early education to all disadvantaged 2 year olds, by 2013;  revise the Code of Practice on free early education to reduce national prescription and enable more children to access their full entitlement;  strengthen the quality criteria for providers of the free entitlement; and  promote a diverse early education and childcare sector. 1.Child Development

14 2.Parents and Families at the heart of services  The Government will:  introduce new arrangements for more flexible family leave;  make sure parents can access relationship support if they need it;  support provision of online and helpline family and relationship support;  ensure Ofsted reports on childcare provision are easy to find and read;  explore ways to enable parents and communities to have more say in the running of Sure Start Children’s Centres; and  make sure those families who need it the most get extra support with the costs of childcare.

15 3.Effective and Evidence Based Early Intervention  We want to make the most of all opportunities for early intervention in the foundation years by:  helping professionals to use all interactions with families as opportunities to identify additional needs and offer further help;  Introducing a new requirement on providers to give parents a short written summary of their child’s progress around age two and how this could be integrated with the health visitor led development review;  encouraging evidence-based parenting programme, and doubling the number of families benefiting from the Family Nurse Partnership; and  setting out a new core purpose for Sure Start Children’s Centres.

16 4.Ensuring skilled and motivated professionals  The Government will:  review how best to strengthen qualifications and career pathways for workers supporting families in the foundation years – Professor Cathy Nutbrown;  continue to invest in graduate-level training in early education, childcare and social care;  make early years education professionals part of the remit of the new Teaching Agency, and  support the sector in developing system leadership, including reviewing the National Professional Qualifications in Integrated Centre Leadership

17 5.A new relationship with the sector  The Government will look to build a new relationship with the sector based on strong accountability and more integrated working:  Promote better sharing of information;  Introduce payment by results for children’s centres; and,  Continue with co-production.

18 Reforming the Early Years Foundation Stage  Clare Tickell’s review concluded that the framework has had a positive impact, increasing professionalism and helping to raise standards, but many practitioners were concerned that the EYFS was too complex and burdensome, with too much time spent filling in forms. So we are reforming it: –a stronger emphasis on interacting with children and encouraging parents to become involved in their child’s development; –a focus on early identification of children’s additional needs through a mandatory summary of progress at age 2 to 3; –a strong focus on basic social, emotional, communication and language skills; –a reduction in the number of early learning goals from 69 to 17; and, –clearer requirements on providers to help keep children safe.  Reforming inspection to reflect new EYFS.

19  Around 95% already access the free entitlement at age 3 and 4 although the percentage is lowest in the most deprived communities.  In 2009 only 43% of two year olds in the poorest 20% of families experienced any form of early education compared to 72% in the 20% most affluent.  All 152 English local authorities currently provide a targeted offer of between 10 and 15 hours early education per week to some of the most disadvantaged two-year- olds.  £64 million for 2011/12 and £223 million for 2012/13 is available to provide these places and to increase capacity ready for….  From September 2013 a legal entitlement will be extended to 20% of two year olds – the most economically disadvantaged, and looked after children (with some flexibility for local authorities to fund other groups depending on local need (e.g. emerging SEND)  The number of funded places will increase from c20,000 to c140,000. Free entitlement to early education

20  About to consult on greater flexibility: –allowing parents to take free hours between 7am to 7pm up to a maximum of 10 hours per day –Reducing the minimum number of days to 2 per week  High-quality early education is a key factor in closing gaps in attainment and improving school readiness of the neediest children.  But the quality of provision is lower in disadvantaged areas.  We will consult on introducing a basket of eligibility criteria that providers of free early education will need to meet in order to receive funding that go beyond inspection findings.  Considering tougher criteria for the free entitlement for 2 year olds. Increasing flexibility and improved quality

21  Coalition commitment to foundation years and contribution to social mobility  But some challenges: –Maintaining focus on improving quality without additional investment –Implementing new policies (e.g. 2 year old offer) in a “localist” world –Securing sustainability of provision in current economic climate Conclusions

22 Thank you


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