Education watchdog Ofsted will be placing greater focus on early-years education as part of their five-year strategy to tackle the impact of Covid on young children. The latest research shows that young children are falling behind with their communication and development as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns.
The main concerns are that a combination of school and childcare closures and lack of social interaction during this time have negatively affected children’s developmental progress. In addition to this, the early years sector is currently under huge pressure due to high numbers of staff leaving the profession since the first lockdown, and childcare providers being down by 5,000.
The early years recruitment crisis coupled with a high demand for childcare providers will impact young children being able to receive high quality education in these vital formative years.
Ofsted plan to increase training for their early-years inspection workforce, making this sector their number one priority. They will also work closely with the Department for Education to simplify regulations for childminders and make it a smoother process for them to train and become registered, which will hopefully attract more people into the profession.
Chief Executive Officer of the Early Years Alliance, Neil Leitch, commented on Ofsted’s plans:
“...Even with these positive intentions, it’s difficult to see how much actual change Ofsted, as an independent inspection body, will be able to bring about. Even before the onset of Covid-19, early-years providers were grappling with a raft of challenges such as staffing shortages and immense financial pressures as a result of years of government underfunding, and there is no doubt that these challenges have been hugely exacerbated by the pandemic, with more and more settings being pushed to the brink of closure.”
How can you support young children’s early learning?
Though the early-years sector is in a challenging situation at the moment, there are many ways in which parents and carers can support children with developing key skills and their early learning journey.
Reading aloud to children from a young age is one of the most important ways you can support their development and communication skills. Even if you can only manage ten minutes of reading per day, the long-lasting benefits for children are significant and will give them the best start in life to support their education throughout their lives.
Green Bean Studios is committed to helping young children learn and develop confidently. Our range of educational books, toys, games, live events, music, animations and family entertainment all work together to support children to develop key skills including language, communication, literacy, numeracy, creativity and interpersonal skills.
In addition to this, we have a variety of downloadable children’s learning resources and activities tailored to different age groups, available for families and childcare providers. View our Kids Journal and learning resources here: https://www.greenbeancollection.co.uk/kidsjournal.html
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Article by - Melissa Brannlund
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