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INVESTING IN THE EARLY YEARS

The effects of the covid pandemic and events in Ukraine mean that care and education in the early years have never been more important.  As this starts within each family, the welfare of parents in these demanding times is also crucial.  With so many families facing stress and hardship because of rising costs of food and fuel, many children are suffering to a degree that we have not seen in this country since the second world war.

Cuts in funding to the public sector has led to the weakening of much of the support for children predicated in the Children Act which became law in 1989.  These cuts have resulted in the loss of almost all Sure Start Centres, where parents could access multi-professional advice and help, while their children played and learned with support from well-qualified staff.

Research in the UK shows the benefits for society as well as individuals of high quality provision in the early years: Effective pre-school, primary and secondary education project (EPPSE 3-16+).  In the US, every dollar spent on the ambitious High/Scope programme for young children resulted in a return of $12.90 over the following decades: https://highscope.org/perry-preschool-project.  A wide range of evidence just published by the National Children’s Bureau makes a compelling case for a focus on the early years: https://www.ncb.org.uk/investinginprevention

What could be a better investment than accessible, welcoming provision for young children and their families, which saves much grief as well as money?

Wendy Scott OBE,

President, TACTYC


By: Wendy Scott, National Council Member
On:20-05-2022
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Registered Charity Number: 289645