By the time children start school, the achievement gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers is already the equivalent of over 4 months of learning. This event will consider the reasons behind this gap but also what an effective and evidence based Early Years policy would look like and the extent to which this could help to close this gap.
According to a recent analysis by the Early Intervention Foundation, although Early Years provision has been extended in recent years, this alone does not seem to have had any significant impact on tackling these inequalities. Since September 2017, working parents of three and four-year-olds have been entitled to 30 hours of free childcare a week. However, while this may seem like a step in the right direction, critics have argued that the hourly rate paid to providers under the Government’s Early Years Funding Formula does not cover the cost of the kind of high quality Early Years provision that is required to make a difference to children’s early development.
This event will therefore consider what is required to ensure that the Labour policy on Early Years is not just centred around increasing hours of child care, but also providing high quality Early Years provision and how early intervention can be used to avoid some of those inequalities that exist before children even start school.
This event will be a Panel event and the following fantastic speakers are already confirmed:
Dr Sara Bonetti
- Sara is the Associate Director of Early Years at the Education Policy Institute. Sara’s work is focused around topics related to the structural elements of high-quality early childhood education, and particularly on workforce professionalism.
- Sara previously worked as a preschool teacher in California and then in policy and research at national, county and city level. She also has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on early childhood education from Mills College, Oakland, California.
Dr Rebecca Montacute
- Dr Montacute is Research Fellow at the Sutton Trust, a foundation which champions social mobility from the early years through to access to the workplace. The Trust’s work on the early years covers a range of issues, from Sure Start children’s centres to promoting parental engagement.
- Ria is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist who worked across inner-London schools for five years.
- She is currently undertaking her PHD at University College London, investigating the association between stammering and mental health in the context of preventative healthcare. As part of her PhH she also works as the Policy Officer at Action for Stammering Children Charity.
- Charlotte is a Policy Adviser at Save the Children UK and works on the charity’s UK policy and campaigning work.
- Charlotte's work is focused on improving access to high-quality, affordable childcare for the most disadvantaged children, with the aim of narrowing the early years attainment gap between children in poverty and their peers.
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