First Early Years report highlights importance of teaching and learning in pre-school settings

03 Apr 2014

Pre-school children from poorer backgrounds need the support of professionally trained teaching staff to stop them falling behind as soon as they reach school age, Ofsted said today.

In its first stand-alone Early Years Annual Report, the inspectorate argues that the pre-Reception age settings best equipped to help break 'the cycle of disadvantage' are those focused on helping children to learn at the earliest age.

The report finds that the quality of provision in this sector has been rising in recent years – 78 per cent of providers on the Early Years Register are now judged good or outstanding.

However, barely a third of children from low income backgrounds reached a good level of development at the age of five last year – and in some areas it was less than a fifth.

The report says that the current complexity and fragmentation of the sector means that neither the inspection, regulation nor information available about early years are clear enough for parents to compare quality across the different types of provision.

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