Early Years framework must be supported

Training for all early years providers and inspectors will be crucial to the success of the new framework for children’s development, learning and care from birth to five, experts have warned.

The Early Years Foundation Stage will come into force from September 2008, replacing the non-statutory Birth to Three Matters guidance, the Foundation Stage curriculum for 3- to 4-year-olds and the national standards for day care.

Launching the framework earlier this week, children’s minister Beverley Hughes said it was about ensuring quality and consistency across all settings where care is provided for young children, and making sure parents can be confident their child will get the best possible start in their learning and development whatever setting they choose.

However, National Day Nurseries Association chief executive Purnima Tanuku said that effective support for local authorities, providers and inspectors would be key to the framework’s successful implementation.

“The framework is very comprehensive and it will be important that inspectors and local authorities receive the right training and support so that they avoid a ‘tick box’ culture where they assess a provider by checking where children are meeting the individual early learning goals the framework sets out.”

She added that direct investment would be needed to ensure that private and voluntary nurseries could support the costs associated with improving quality and retaining staff, including increasing the number of early years staff with NVQ Level 3.

A spokesperson for the National Childminding Association added: “Training must be rolled out for all child carers, including those working in a home setting. This can only be achieved by a commitment to sustained investment enabling local authorities to roll out the training effectively.”

Contact the author: Lauren Revans


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