Early Years Digest

20th December, 2023


Nursery World - Concerns childminders will cease to exist as DfE survey reveals a 5 per cent drop in childcare providers

The latest DfE Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey shows the number of early years providers has fallen by 5 per cent in a year, mainly driven by a loss of 3,200 childminders.

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reception children classroom

The Mirror - Poorer children '18 months behind wealthier classmates by the time they leave school'

A study by the Education Policy Institute think tank today lays bare the gulf between kids from different backgrounds, including how poorer children are more than 18 months behind wealthier classmates.

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nursery kindergarten teacher

iNews – EXCLUSIVE: Warning over looming childcare ‘crisis’ as 10,000 providers lost since 2018

Ministers have been urged to review rates paid to childcare providers after data revealed the number has fallen by more than 10,000 in five years. There has been a 15 per cent drop in the number of childcare providers since 2018, with the total falling by 10,300.

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The Guardian - Free childcare for 30 hours a week? It sounds too good to be true – and for worse-off families, it is

Early-years education can determine a child’s future. Polly Toynbee explains how this is why a Labour government must make it a priority.

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Student doing maths on abacus at elementary school

Children and Young People Now - More than three children are competing for every early years place, study warns

Almost half of under-fives in England live in areas where there are more than three children for every registered early years place.

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Close up of a businesswoman using a calculator.

The Independent - UK ranks worst among world’s richest countries in child poverty levels, says Unicef

UK saw 20 per cent rise in relative child income poverty rates between 2012/14 and 2019/21.

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couple work on laptop computer at modern living room indoor home

Nursery World - Slight rise in children achieving 'a good level of development' at end of EYFS

The proportion of five-year-olds with a good level of development and who reach the expected level across all areas of the EYFS at the end of the Reception year has risen slightly, according to the latest statistics.

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reception children classroom teacher

Mail Online - Lockdowns caused four in 10 pupils to fall behind in their vocabulary development, report suggests

Four in ten pupils have fallen behind in vocabulary development due to lockdowns, a report suggests. More than half of teachers also claim that there has been an increase in the number of children who have slipped behind in their vocabulary knowledge compared to previous years.

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Cute baby brinking from a bottle

The Guardian - UK regulators ‘should act to curb rise in cost of infant formula’

British Pregnancy Advisory Service found 65% of mothers were worried about price of feeding their babies. Regulators should take action to curb a sharp rise in the price of infant formula, pregnancy campaigners have said.

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happy little child play game and have fun, education lessons in colorful kinder garden playground indoors

The Guardian - Babies do not fall for illusion that fools older children, study finds

Babies really do see the world differently, researchers have found, after revealing that those under six months old do not fall for a visual illusion that can trick older children and adults.

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happy child kids group have fun and play at kindergarden indoor preschool education concept with  teacher-1

Nursery World – Young children's understanding of language nearly back to pre-pandemic levels

A new study suggests that young children’s understanding of language is nearly back to pre-pandemic norms, despite ‘added pressures on today’s families’.

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Father with children working on laptop computer at home

The 19th News - Paternity leave alters the brain, suggesting daddies are made, not born

Researchers at the University of Southern California have looked at how time spent with an infant, particularly one-on-one, reshapes fathers’ brains to help them become more effective and instinctual caregivers.

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Newborn baby first days of life

Children and Young People Now - Disadvantaged new parents in the North East to receive baby boxes

Hundreds of disadvantaged first-time parents in the North East will receive a box of essential items to aid early development thanks to funding from North of Tyne Combined Authority.

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Nursery World - Nearly one in five children going without warmth and fresh food

Around 2.6 million children are living in material deprivation, going without warmth and fresh food.

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Reception classroom teacher

The Mirror - 'I'm a teacher - there's 5 things parents should always bring kids to school with but never do'

A primary school teacher shared that there are five things parents should definitely be sending their kids to school with, explaining that often, mums and dads forget.

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portrait stressed sad young woman outdoors. City urban life style stress

BBC News - Childcare costs: Average yearly fee for one child hits £10k

The average cost of a full-time childcare place in Northern Ireland is now more than £10,000 a year for one child, new figures suggest. The organisation Employers for Childcare carried out a survey of 2,000 households in Northern Ireland.

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Nursery World - Almost 4 million children not physically active for at least an hour a day – survey

Fewer than half of children are meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines of taking part in an average of 60 minutes or more of sport and physical activity a day.

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Teacher reading her pupils a story at the elementary school

BBC News - Childcare: Hundreds of nurseries in South East close down

Hundreds of early years providers in the South East have closed down, Ofsted data shows. Between March and August 2023, 242 providers across Kent, Sussex and Surrey shut their doors.

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Early Years Educator - SCOTLAND: Most Scottish childcare providers getting ‘raw deal’ from councils, analysis reveals

Most local authorities in Scotland are paying their private partner providers proportionally lower than the number of hours they were delivering, an investigation by National Day Nurseries Association Scotland has found.

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Newborn baby first days with his father

London Metropolitan University - London Met announces full year of paid parental leave for staff

London Metropolitan University has announced a comprehensive enhancement to its parental leave policies, contributing to the increasing improvement in employment standards throughout the higher education sector.

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Arabic Muslim mother playing and taking care of her baby-1

Huffington Post - 10 Fascinating Things We Learned About Kids In 2023

The Huffington Post sums up 10 things we have learned about children this year, from the topic of screen time to sleep.

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happy child kids group have fun and play at kindergarden indoor preschool education concept with  teacher-1

Early Years Alliance - DfE confirms no change over unqualified staff rules

The Alliance has spoken to the DfE and can confirm that there have been no changes to the rules on unqualified staff and that this guidance does not mean that unqualified educators are unable to work in early years settings – only that they cannot be counted in Level 2, 3 or 6 ratios, as is currently the case.

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Nuffield Foundation - NELI Preschool in Ellergreen Nursery School and Childcare Centre

Jane Rogers, Headteacher at Ellergreen Nursery School and Childcare Centre speaks about the major impact NELI Preschool has had on her pupils.

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Their World - 2023 review: a big year of unlocking big change

Theirworld continued to make a major impact in a year of campaigns, projects, research, innovation and youth activism.

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Untitled design (23)

Motherly - Yes, you can train your toddler to have fewer tantrums—all through play

Teaching children through games, stories, and activities during calm times is the key to building those vital essential social-emotional skills.

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Herald Wales - Newsletter launched to promote physical development in early childhood

The Wales Academy for Health and Physical Literacy at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has launched a newsletter that will support physical development in early childhood. The newsletter, published quarterly, will highlight how high-quality movement in early childhood is essential for laying the foundations of physical activity, health, well-being and academic outcomes.

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Young school girl reading a book at the library

Save the Children – Why we can’t wait for progress on closing the attainment gap

Fiona King, senior policy and public affairs manager at Save the Children looks at the latest attainment gap figures in Scotland.

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ALMA Launch Group Photo

The Aga Khan University - Developing Africa’s future neuroscientists

The Aga Khan University has launched a pioneering initiative which aims to study early-life brain development within the African context to identify the needs of African children and ensure their optimal development.

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Middle Eastern Muslim mother playing with her little baby in green park and holding him in arms

Department for Education - Official Statistics: Childcare and early years providers survey: 2023

The DfE has published its annual early years provider survey which shows a fall in the numbers of providers and also in qualified staff.

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Screenshot 2023-12-20 125019

Institute of Fiscal Studies - Annual report on education spending in England: 2023

The IFS have released their sixth annual report on education spending, showing changes over time across different stages of education, as well as geographic differences.

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Kindred Website

Harvard Business Review – How Paternity Leave Helps Dads’ Brains Adapt to Parenting

Research has shown that taking time off work to care for a newborn child is good for father-baby bonding, the baby’s development, and the parents’ relationship with each other. But there’s one more huge benefit that we’re just now learning about thanks to new data and research: paternal brain training.

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Small group of children eating apples together, shallow DOF

Oxford University Press - Oxford Language Report 2023

4 in 10 pupils have fallen behind in vocabulary development, according to oxford university press study, as teachers and parents unite in tackling issue together.

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Close-up image of doctors hand pointing at x-ray results-1

Action for Children - Going without: Almost one in five children growing up deprived of the basics

Action for Children, working with the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), has analysed UK government data on children growing up in material deprivation.

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View of pregnant woman waiting for prescription-1

University of Southampton - Pregnant women are missing vital nutrients needed for them and their babies

Pregnant women are not getting the essential nutrients they and their babies need from modern diets say scientists.

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Activities on the pool, children swimming and playing in water, happiness and summertime

Sport England - Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, Academic year 2022-23

This report summarises the sport and physical activity behaviours of 5-16-year-olds in England over the 2022-23 academic year (September 2022-July 2023).

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Rear View of Young Office Workers in Casual Outfits Listening to a Top Manager Explaining Something Using Illustrations.

Together and Committed to Young Children – Your Voice Matters

This free in-person event will celebrate voices from the Early Years and reflect on why they are so often silenced.

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