A new investigation by The Children’s Alliance argues urgent government action is required to make early years education fit for the 21st century.
A new report on early years education has laid bare the funding crisis affecting the sector and what needs to change.
The Role of the Family in Early Years Education Report specifically highlights the need for digital support for parents and families, and the importance of developing a cohesive and aligned ‘learning community’ that surrounds a child.
The Director of The Children’s Alliance, Tamsin Brewis said, “The historic concept of nuclear families with men at work and women at home ‘minding’ their children wasn’t fully representative at the time. It’s even less relevant in 2023 when there are many diverse communities throughout the UK, many different types of family, and ‘a job for life’ can’t be guaranteed for anybody.
“What hasn’t changed though is that all families play a really essential role in their children’s education from the moment of birth and whatever their domestic and economic circumstances might be, all families should be able to access the support that they need to help their children to learn, thrive and live their best lives.”
The key demands flagged in the report are:
To enable parents and families to encourage the learning of their early years children at home as well as within, and in addition to, an external setting
Education into the role of other caregiver should be included in routine antenatal care and as part of the family unit.
That supports parents and children in the first five years in order to signpost to them as part of antenatal and postnatal provision. This will necessitate digital service inclusion in appropriate initial training (IT) and continuous professional development (CPD) for health and education professionals including GPs
With bespoke training to be offered at all stages from health visitor/midwife through to Early Childhood Education (ECE) setting professionals with the aim of fostering partnership and boosting confidence and autonomy within the home
Tackling inequalities, gaps and anachronisms in the sector that impact upon children and families
So that the outcomes for children may be achieved and value placed on the workforce.
The report was sponsored by online learning platform Babbu, developed during the pandemic with the help of early years specialists, parents and clinical psychologists from origins as a ‘pay-as-you-go (PAYG) nursery.
Its Chief Executive Charlie Rosier said, “Today, it takes a learning community to educate a child whatever that community might be. It is the responsibility of the Government to provide the resolution and financial resources to empower a new generation.”