We welcome today’s announcement from the Royal Foundation of the launch of its Centre for Early Childhood.
The Big Change Starts Small report brings together key evidence about the importance of children’s earliest years and we support its recommendations, especially in respect of strengthening the early years workforce. It rightly identifies the importance of many different professionals in working with children in the early years, including health, social care and education. Early Education’s own focus is on the quality of the early childhood education workforce, and we hope that the Centre for Early Childhood will focus its attention on the needs of this particular section of the workforce and calling not only for better training and qualifications, but also for improved pay and conditions necessary to sustain a high quality workforce.
The economic case for investing in the early years is well made in the report, and should be heeded by the Treasury. Cutting costs in the early years is a false economy, as the evidence clearly shows that it is high quality early childhood education that makes a difference.
The report also addresses the interconnectedness of many aspects of the early years, and hence the importance of supporting parents and building support within communitiies, including the role of employers in supporting parents. This holistic approach is key to future success, and we hope the Royal Foundation will continue to bring together the many stakeholders who need to work together to achieve change to benefit young children and society as a whole.