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Latest Early Years Research

Early Years Foundation Stage

Jump to:
- Teaching and play in the early years: a balancing act?
- Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Good Practice in Early Education
- Putting quality at the heart of the early years - Family and Childcare Trust
- Social Mix in London Early Years Provision - Family and Childcare Trust
- Starting out right: early education and looked after children - University of Oxford and Family and Childcare Trust
- Unknown children – destined for disadvantage?
- Nuffield Foundation - Early Years Education and Childcare
- Nuffield Foundation - Quality and Inequality: Do three- and four-year-olds in deprived areas experience lower quality early years provision?
- Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Study of the quality of childminder provision in England
- State of the Nation 2016: Social Mobility in Great Britain
- Professional Love in Early Years Settings (PLEYS)
- Let's Talk about Listening to Children
- Three Core Concepts in Early Development. Harvard University
- Should Sarah Smack her Child?
- All It Takes is H.E.A.R.T.
- Understanding Early Years Policy

 

Teaching and play in the early years: a balancing act?

This Ofsted good practice survey explores the perceptions of teaching and play in the early years. In particular it focuses on the following:

  • How the most successful providers view teaching and play
  • The teaching and learning continuum: the role of the adult
  • Successful working with funded two-year-olds
  • Assessment at the heart of successful teaching and play

Below is an extract:

"Research has never been clearer – a child's early education lasts a lifetime. Securing a successful start for our youngest children, and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is crucial." ......."When the first five years of a child's life pass by so quickly, achieving the highest quality of learning and development is critical"........ "There is no one way to achieve the very best for young children. Many different approaches to teaching exist".

Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Good Practice in Early Education

The study explores how good quality early years settings articulate, establish and sustain good practice that has the potential to improve child outcomes. Focusing on provision for two to four-year-olds it examines good practice in relation to curriculum planning, assessment and monitoring, staffing, managing transitions and communication with parents and home learning.

Putting quality at the heart of the early years - Family and Childcare Trust

Quality matters most for children who are most likely to fall behind in the early years. Supporting these children requires that settings have the right structural resources in place, such as expert, well-motivated practitioners with sufficient time to monitor children's development and plan care; the right processes, such as arrangements for continuing quality improvement and professional development; and joint-working between early education and childcare settings and wider early years services. These characteristics do not occur incidentally but require positive action from settings themselves as well as recognition by local and national funders and policy makers.

This paper seeks to identify pragmatic opportunities to raise quality in the early years in the short- to medium-term. The paper discusses seven areas of policy and sets out recommendations for policy makers and early years stakeholders.

Social Mix in London Early Years Provision - Family and Childcare Trust

Better access to high quality early education is a key area of concern for the Family and Childcare Trust. Their latest report on Social mix in London early years provision, funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA), explores social segregation in early years settings and how this can underline the potential of high quality education to contribute to the reduction of poverty.

The benefits of high quality early education for disadvantaged children are stronger when there is a mixture of children from different social backgrounds. Their report aims to understand the impacts of social segregation in the early years.

Starting out right: early education and looked after children - University of Oxford and Family and Childcare Trust

University of Oxford and Family and Childcare Trust's new report (2016), Starting out right: early education and looked after children, warns that looked after children (children in care) are falling well behind children in the general population before they get to primary school.

The report - funded by the Nuffield Foundation - highlights numerous studies showing that high quality early education vastly improves outcomes for disadvantaged children and makes a number of recommendations towards making sure looked after children have access to high quality early education that boosts their outcomes and life chances.

Unknown children – destined for disadvantage?

This Ofsted survey reports on how good local authorities and early years providers are in helping disadvantaged families and their young children. In particular, it looks at implementation and impact of national and local policies on early years providers in some of the most deprived areas of England.

This document considers what is meant by disadvantage and its impact on children along with what local leaders need to do to address it.

Click on this link to see Early Years Stakeholders pledge to help disadvantaged children.

Nuffield Foundation - Early Years Education and Childcare

Almost all children experience some combination of formal childcare and early education before they start school. This is important, not least because children's experiences in their first few years of life have a major impact on their development. But the provision of education and childcare for young children has other functions in our society. For example it plays an important role in the rate and flexibility of parental employment, particularly for mothers. It also has potential to help reduce educational inequality, which is already evident by the time children start school.

Download the report 'Early years education and childcare: Lessons from evidence and future priorities'.

Nuffield Foundation - Quality and Inequality: Do three- and four-year-olds in deprived areas experience lower quality early years provision?

Evidence shows that high quality early years provision can help narrow this gap, and successive governments have implemented policies designed to address these early inequalities, most recently the offer of free early education places to disadvantaged two-year-olds. But recent Ofsted reports have suggested that early years provision is of a lower quality in deprived areas than it is in more advantaged ones. And so socioeconomic disadvantage is mirrored in the quality of early years provision and children from poorer backgrounds lose out again.

Download the report 'Quality and Inequality: Do three- and four-year-olds in deprived areas experience lower quality early years provision?'

Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Study of the quality of childminder provision in England

This study considers the characteristics and processes of child-minder settings and what child-minder quality looks like in practice. It examines the key components of process and structural quality for early years provision in child-minder settings. It also looks at the relationship between the structural characteristics of child-minder settings and the process quality of care and education they offer. 

State of the Nation 2016: Social Mobility in Great Britain

The Social Mobility Commission is an advisory non-departmental public body established under the Life Chances Act 2010 as modified by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. It has a duty to assess progress in improving social mobility in the UK and to promote social mobility in England.

In the Commission's latest report it argues '.......From the early years through to universities, there is an entrenched and unbroken correlation between social class and educational success'. It goes on to further say that........'The early years of a child's life have a lasting impact. What happens in the home and how parents interact with their children is crucial to their development'.

The report sets out the case for change and proposes solutions.

Download the 'State of the nation' report

Professional Love in Early Years Settings (PLEYS)

Download a report summary of the findings of a research project carried out by the Dr Jools Page at the University of Sheffield into the conceptions and practices of love, intimacy and care in early year's settings.

The findings from the project were used to co-produce an 'Attachment Toolkit' which includes case studies, narratives and video materials to support early years practitioners in their attachment interactions with young children and in their work with families, particularly during times of parent/ child separation.

Let's Talk about Listening to Children

'A great deal has now been written about emotion and learning, and we know that we can't learn or engage in learning situations without emotion. Listening involves emotion'.
Learning & Teaching Scotland 2006

This document encapsulates the importance and benefits of listening to children using examples of good practice that highlight how children's views and ideas become visible e.g. planning.

Three Core Concepts in Early Development. Harvard University

The following are three short two-minute videos which support the understanding of the importance of early interactions for developing the brain. They videos can be used in a number of ways, e.g. to support those new to early years practice to understand the importance of why every interaction counts with babies and young children; and to promote discussion and further reading depending on level of study.

Should Sarah Smack her Child?

This tool explores the ethical dilemmas of smacking and enables safeguarding policies to be brought to life.

All It Takes is H.E.A.R.T.

A message that settings can share with parents/carers and staff: quality interactions are key to healthy brain development. From the Erikson Institute in the US.

Understanding Early Years Policy

This book outlines developments in early years policy in recent years, placing it in its political and social context. The inclusion of policy developments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales gives a new and broader perspective of policy in the United Kingdom than previously available in a single text. Students studying the topic at degree level will find the framework for analysing the impact of policy particularly enlightening.

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Last updated: 
Tuesday, 7 February, 2017
Last updated: 7 February 2017 by Barry Fong

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