DfE early years programme extended to extra 50 local authorities

Published by Will Dodds on September 13th 2021, 10:08am

The Department for Education has extended the Early Years Professional Development Programme to another 50 local authorities across England over the next year.

Designed to support the development of language, numeracy and emotional skills in young children, the DfE will invest a further £10 million in training and professional development for staff in nurseries and pre-schools, or childminders.

Launched in 2019, the Early Years Professional Development Programme is part of a government push to reduce the size of the attainment gap among young children.

With an initial £20 million, the latest investment will help train 2,000 early years practitioners and teachers in the new areas.

This should translate to an additional 32,000 young children gaining access to a better quality education.

The programme will be delivered by Education Development Trust in partnership with training provider Elklan.

Ramsden Primary School headteacher Christopher Wilson highlighted concerns about the attainment gap in his recent contribution to The Parliamentary Review, and argued that schools must evolve to help address it.

"Many of the gaps that children develop happen at the age of 18 months old, and only get wider," he wrote.

"This is not because parents neglect their children, but because most of the traditional support networks have disappeared. As schools, we must evolve to become more than what we are. If that means bringing school to the child in the home, we look forward to the opportunities that that will bring."

Meanwhile, Godstone Primary and Nursery School headteacher Candida Jarrott-Chase told the Review that the habits formed at a young age play a significant role in a child's development.

"Our staff encourage and support pupils to become resilient learners and use the Leuven scales to measure children’s emotional wellbeing and involvement, which are explicit in day-to-day practice," she said.

"We know that embedding the importance of making relationships – a prime area within the EarlyYears curriculum – right at the very start of a child’s education is a vital component for successful learning, and the development and progress of all children throughout their primary experience and beyond."

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Authored By

Will Dodds
Senior Journalist
September 13th 2021, 10:08am

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