The Early Years Alliance has responded to Keir Starmer's speech to the Labour Party Conference taking place in Brighton this week.
Commenting, Neil Leitch, Early Years Alliance chief executive, said:
"While supporting every child to achieve their full potential is a positive ambition, it is extremely disappointing that a speech so strong on educational reforms fails to mention the crucial early years.
"Research consistently shows the first five years of a child’s life to be fundamental to their long-term learning and development, but the Labour leader’s words today suggest he thinks education both begins and ends in school.
"With early years providers across the country in dire financial straits, and young children still in need of support to recover from lost learning during the pandemic, Labour must ensure any education reforms it puts forward have support for the early years at their centre. Only with a sustainable, accessible and quality-driven early years sector can we truly claim to be giving all children the best possible start to life.”