We welcome the government’s new Sustainability and climate change strategy for education and children’s services, and that early years is reflected through a range of strands including commitments to:
- provide opportunities to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the importance of nature, sustainability and the causes and impact of climate change and to translate this knowledge into positive action and solutions
- share best practice, demonstrating how sustainability and climate change has been incorporated into teaching, including in the EYFS
- climate adaptation and decarbonisation activity in nurseries
- the National Education Nature Park, including directly involving children in measuring and improving biodiversity in their nursery and reinforcing their connections with nature
- carbon literacy training for all sustainability leads in every nursery and school
- work with nurseries and schools to set standardised emissions reporting frameworks and implement effective data-gathering mechanisms.
In this context, it is perhaps increasingly anomalous that outside space is not a requirement for early years provision, and we hope that this is something government will review in future.
Early Education and the Froebel Trust are today launching our own Access to Nature guidance for practitioners, following up on a recent piece of joint research to be published soon.
The popularity of the Sustainability Strand in the Birth to 5 Matters Spring Festival demonstrates the sector is already very committed to this topic.