Wednesday, 26 April, 2017
Early Education calls on all parties to commit to the following principles:
- developing long-term, joined-up early years policies which put children's needs at the centre, with a focus on high quality early childhood education to promote all children's learning and development
- an inclusive approach to early childhood education and care which ensures all children have equal access to high quality provision, which respects the rights of each child to have their unique needs met in the context of their particular family, and which seeks to recruit a more representative workforce, eg in terms of ethnicity, gender and disability
We invite all parties to commit to the following specific steps:
- Ensure the Early Years National Funding Formula covers the real costs of high quality provision, including the cost of a suitably qualified workforce, led by teachers and graduate practitioners with specialist early years expertise. Ensure such expertise is available to all settings, including schools and private/voluntary sector settings and childminders.
- Commit to level funding for maintained nursery schools until 2019-20 under the Early Years National Funding Formula by continuing to provide supplementary funding as provided in 2017-18, and consult on a future funding solution which will protect the ability of maintained nursery schools to offer system leadership and expert support for the most disadvantaged children and those with SEND.
- Reject the current proposals for baseline assessment in reception to ensure that arrangements for school accountability do not impact negatively on the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Ensure all teachers in the early years have Qualified Teacher Status based for example on a PGCE for 0-8, and provide conversion routes for staff with Early Years Teacher and Early Years Professional status, to ensure all teachers have equivalent professional training, pay and conditions, and career progression options.
- Ensure there is expert pedagogic advice, support and training consistently available to all early years providers, either by restoring the statutory duty on local authorities to deliver this or by a universally available alternative
- Ensure every child and family has access to integrated early years services including education, health, social care and family support through universal children's centre services, with additional services targeted at those in greatest need.