Kevan Collins in Public Finance: ‘Early years policy should tackle the social mobility divide’
'What we need from government is a laser-like policy focus on providing high-quality early years education and great home learning environments for the most disadvantaged toddlers', writes EEF chief executive Sir Kevan Collins in 'Public Finance':
The most important thing we can do to close the attainment gap early is to make sure toddlers from disadvantaged homes have access to high-quality, evidence-based nursery provision, with well-trained and skilled staff. The early years pupil premium offers an important financial supplement to early years settings catering for the poorest children, and should remain as a key lever for improving pre-school development. Family life is also a crucial part of the equation, and finding the best ways for parents to support their children’s early learning, especially in language and literacy, should continue to be a key focus of early years policy. We welcome seeing the Department for Education, Damian Hinds and Nadeem Zahawi make the Home Learning Environment one of their key areas of focus. Their £5m fund – which we are partnering with them on together with Leeds-based charity SHINE – will find out how early years settings can best work with parents to support their children in language and reading at an early stage.