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Sector shows support for early years manifesto

A number of early years experts, academics and organisations have expressed their support for the Pre-school Learning Alliance’s Early Years Agenda manifesto.

Pacey, TACTYC and early years experts David Whitebread and Penny Tassoni are among a number of high-profile sector representatives to formally endorse the manifesto, which outlines the organisation’s key calls to government on the areas of funding, schoolification and Ofsted.

Hundreds of early years practitioners have also registered their support for the document, which calls on government to: work with the Alliance to undertake a full, in-depth review of the free entitlement funding system, including a large-scale analysis of the cost of delivering funded places; scrap the proposed baseline assessment and reinstate the EYFS Profile’s statutory status; bring early years inspections in-house; and implement paid-for re-inspections, as legislated for by the Children and Families Act 2014.

Many practitioners who endorsed the manifesto also commented on its significance.

One nursery owner wrote: “I fully endorse the ethos of a quality, affordable, sustainable childcare system, adequately funded, delivering age-appropriate learning opportunities and a fair and consistent inspection system.”

A pre-school manager added: “Keep politics out of pre-school education. Put children first.”

Neil Leitch, Alliance chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, welcomed the overwhelming show of support for the Agenda.

He said: “We have already seen significant progress in a number of areas: the government is currently carrying out a long-called for review of early years funding, while Ofsted has committed to bring early years inspections in-house. But there is still much to do - and it can only be done if we as a sector work together. 

“As such, we remain committed to working in partnership with colleagues across the sector - and with government - to push for necessary changes and to ensure that early years policy always, without exception, has the needs of the child at its centre, and is based on both objective evidence and consultation with the sector.”