Warning signs that inequality gap is widening: Alliance responds to Early Years foundation stage profile results

Commenting on the Department for Education’s Early Years foundation stage profile results in England, 2018, Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance said:

“It is encouraging to see that the percentage of children achieving a good level of development has improved, albeit by a small amount. This is thanks to the dedicated, professional early years workforce who continue to do their best for society’s youngest children despite the lack of proper government funding. However there are warning signs that the inequality gap is beginning to widen again, with significant variations between local authorities which show wider gaps in predominantly poorer or rural areas.

“Government underfunding of early years education hits all childcare providers hard, but more so those that operate in poorer or rural areas because often parents cannot afford to pay for the private hours or voluntary extras that providers are forced to charge to make up the funding shortfall. We are in danger of damaging the life chances of our most vulnerable children at a crucial time in their development. As a society this could cost us much, much more in the future than adequately funding early years education now.”

ENDS

About the Early Years Alliance

  • The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.
  • The Alliance represents 14,000 member settings and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.
  • The Alliance website is www.eyalliance.org.uk