Early Years Digest

28th February, 2024


Today, Kindred² published results of its fourth annual school readiness survey to source robust evidence of the proportion of children that are considered ‘school ready’, comparing this to perceptions of parents.

Below is a selection of some the coverage:

stationery on a school desk

ITV News - Staggering number of children entering school ill-prepared for the educational journey ahead

As the academic year unfolds, teachers are finding themselves grappling with a significant challenge: a staggering number of children entering school are ill-prepared for the educational journey ahead.

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teacher and children in classroom

The Guardian - One in four school-starters in England and Wales not toilet-trained, say teachers

One in four children starting school in England and Wales are not toilet-trained, according to teachers who now spend a third of their day supporting pupils who are not school-ready, a report has found.

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primary school children sitting at table

Mail Online - Pupils starting primary school try to swipe books like iPads with one in four not able to use one correctly, shocking report reveals

One in four children start primary school not knowing how to use a book correctly – with many trying to swipe or tap pages like a phone or tablet, a report reveals today.

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children holding hands

TES - Pupils less school-ready this year, say half of teachers

More children ‘appear to be starting primary school without the basic life skills they need’, heads’ leader warns

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

Sky News - 'Underfunded' government free nursery place scheme driving providers out of business

The hourly rate being offered to nurseries is often less than the cost of providing the place, forcing them to raise prices for supplying food or for private clients.

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Teacher reading her pupils a story at the elementary school

The Guardian - Children’s services leaders in England call for national ‘plan for childhood’

Children's services leaders have called for a national “plan for childhood” to transform the health, emotional wellbeing and life chances of youngsters scarred by austerity and the pandemic.

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National Literacy Trust - Early Words Matter

National Literacy Trust launches Early Words Matter campaign to raise awareness of the critical role that the early years play in a child's future social mobility.

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physiotherapist performing check

The Independent - Thousands of student nurses and midwives ditching training over free childcare scheme exclusion

Thousands of student nurses, midwives, and teachers are leaving their courses or ditching training altogether because the government’s free childcare scheme does not extend to them, The Independent has been told.

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Woman playing with plasticine with children

Children and Young People Now - Expanded childcare offer underfunded by £5bn, researchers warn

The gap between the government’s £4.3 billion investment in the expansion of funded childcare and the cost of delivering the hours for providers could lead to a £5 billion shortfall, a think tank has warned.

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Nursery World - LONG READ: Sector is split over decision to provide funded twos places

Two surveys show that many settings will not be able to offer parents places for the extended entitlements, as the start of the roll-out of the expanded policy nears.

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joyful couple relax and work on laptop computer at modern living room indoor home

Nursery World - Working families on the 'breadline' would need to work eight days a week to escape poverty

New analysis by Action for Children suggests 300,000 low-income families with children are trapped in poverty despite parents working full-time.

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Student doing maths on abacus at elementary school

The Independent - Childcare providers ‘too full’ to roll out Sunak’s free childcare scheme

Childcare providers have no space to roll out the government’s expanded free childcare policy, with around seven in 10 services already full, a damning new study has found.

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family of four in kitchen

Nursery World - Parents unlikely to benefit much financially under expanded offer

For a third of parents, the expanded ‘childcare’ offer will save them less than £100 a month due to charges for extras and increased fees outside of the funding, new research suggests.

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The Guardian - Staff absences fell 50% after schools introduced longer half-term break

Suffolk-based schools trust also found that pupil absences for illness fell 25% after extending autumn holiday.

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

Children and Young People Now - Experts urge ministers to produce emotional health guidance for schools

The Department for Education should produce guidance for schools on the implementation of good emotional health for children, a new report has urged.

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Common Outcomes Framework

The Guardian - Birthrate in UK falls to record low as campaigners say ‘procreation a luxury’

Campaigners have warned that “procreation has become a luxury item”, after it emerged that the fertility rate in England and Wales had fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1939.

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Early Years Alliance - Early years costs have rapidly outstripped inflation since 2010, Labour analysis reveals

Labour has unveiled data analysis showing that early education and childcare costs have increased beyond the rate of inflation by over a third since 2010.  

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ITV News - Parenting advice YouTuber jailed for keeping her children in 'concentration camp-like setting'

A popular parenting advice YouTuber has been jailed for child abuse, after police found she had kept her six children in a "concentration camp-like setting".

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Nursery World - Early years job vacancies up by 146 per cent on pre-pandemic levels

Job vacancies for early years practitioners have risen by 146 per cent since before the Covid-19 pandemic, reveals new data.

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Real estate sale, home savings, loans market concept. Housing industry mortgage plan and residential tax saving strategy. Piggy bank isolated outside home on background. Focus on piggybank. Homeowner

Sky News - Having a kid feels 'like financial suicide' as more parents take on debt to pay for childcare - report says

The Government's Money Helper website says the average cost of sending a child under the age of two to nursery full time is £14,030 a year.

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Mother and daughter working in the garden

The Independent - Government urged to double maternity pay to reach minimum wage as mothers choose between food and heat

The government has been urged to more than double maternity pay so it is equal to minimum wage as mothers are being forced to choose between eating and heating their homes.

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View of pregnant woman waiting for prescription-1

The Guardian - Pregnant women and new mothers shouldn’t be sent to jail, UK public says

The British public backs reforms to how pregnant women and mothers are sentenced in courts, a new poll shared with the Observer has found.

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teddy bears

The Mirror - 'I'm an ex-nursery nurse - don't ever send your child in with toys or teddies'

A stay-at-home mum and ex-nursery nurse has shared the things she would never let her children take into nursery with them - and many parents agree it makes life tonnes easier.

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children playing tug of war

The Independent - The school summer holidays are just six weeks of hell for working parents

A charity says the current calendar dating back to Victorian times is unfit for purpose – and the summer break should be cut from six weeks, to four. I couldn’t be more in favour, writes parent-of-two Victoria Richards.

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mother and son at a leafy park

NHS Confederation - Children’s mental health needs more

Now we have the data to prove that waiting times are far too long for children and young people's mental health services, something must be done.

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Cute baby on the carpet with tablet at home-1

HuffPost - When You Should ACTUALLY Give Your Child A Phone

In the last few years, due to the rise of social media and the constant need to feel connected, bringing your phone to school has been normalised.

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Episode 24_ Nurturing Curiosity 0-2 screenshot

Twinkl Talks - Nurturing Curiosity

Twinkl Talks explores the theme of curiosity, why it is so important to nurture it in the EYFS and what happens when we lead with it in our practise.

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

GOV.UK - Everything you need to know about apprenticeships in early years and how to find one

Early years educators play a vital and rewarding role in helping children get the best start for life and preparing them to begin school.

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little girl picking up toy

GOV.UK - Government launches crackdown on mobile phones in schools

Schools will receive new guidance on prohibiting mobile phone use during the school day.

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True Cost of Childcare

The True Cost of Childcare - Financial Times - Webinar - Friday 8 March | 12:30 - 13:30 GMT

In honour of International Women's Day, the Financial Times is hosting a free one-hour online lunch and learn event, organised in partnership with the FT's Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign charity and the FT Women employee network, which will examine the impact of childcare costs on women's finances, careers and future earnings potential - and why everyone needs to play a part in solving one of society's big injustices.

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