‘The Role of the Family in Early Years Education’ A Childrens Alliance Report

We were delighted to contribute to a third Children’s Alliance Report: The Role of the Family In Early Year’s Education

The press release is below and you can read the report here: THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY IN EARLY YEARS EDUCATION FINAL



As the biggest funding crisis in its history forces yet more nurseries to close their doors, a new report published by The Children’s Alliance and sponsored by Babbu argues that urgent government action is required in order to make early years education fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

‘The Role of the Family in Early Years Education’ Report, which includes a foreword by internationally recognised parenting expert and broadcaster Sue Atkins, specifically highlights the need for digital support for parents and families, and the importance of developing a cohesive and aligned ‘learning community’ that surrounds a child.

The key demands are:

1. Government to provide funding for every region to have access to high quality digital initiatives to enable parents and families to encourage the learning of their early years children at home as well as within, and in addition to, an external setting

2. The role of carer and secondary carer (such as grandparent, partner or extended family caregiver) to be recognised as part of the parenting process. Education into the role of other caregiver should be included in routine antenatal care and as part of the family unit

3. A Government-accredited and approved register (subject to annual review) of digital early learning platforms to be established that supports parents and children in the first five years in order to signpost to them as part of antenatal and postnatal provision. This will necessitate digital service inclusion in appropriate initial training (IT) and continuous professional development (CPD) for health and education professionals including GPs

4. A more targeted approach to the parent/carer as the key initial and ongoing enabler of a child’s learning with bespoke training to be offered at all stages from health visitor/midwife through to Early Childhood Education (ECE) setting professionals with the aim of fostering partnership and boosting confidence and autonomy within the home

5. Government to establish a formal review of early years provision. tacking inequalities, gaps and anachronisms in the sector that impact upon children and families

6. Childcare and early education provision to be under continuous scrutiny in relation to inflation and rising costs with an obligation for it to be addressed in all budget statements so that the outcomes for children may be achieved and value placed on the workforce.

The report is published as a coalition comes together to challenge the Government to invest in an early education system that works for all. The Early Education and Childcare Coalition (EECC) is made up of more than 30 organisations and charities across England, and is calling on the Government and all political parties to prioritise early years education and childcare at the next general election.

Introducing the Report, The Director of The Children’s Alliance, Tamsin Brewis said, “The post 1945 historic concept of nuclear families with men at work and women at home ‘minding’ their children wasn’t fully representative at the time. It’s even less relevant in 2023 when there are many diverse communities throughout the UK, many different types of family, and ‘a job for life’ can’t be guaranteed for anybody. What hasn’t changed though is that all families play a really essential role in their children’s education from the moment of birth and whatever their domestic and economic circumstances might be, all families should able to access the support that they need to help their children to learn, thrive and live their best lives.”

The report was sponsored by online learning platform Babbu, developed during the pandemic with the help of early years specialists, parents and clinical psychologists from origins as a ‘pay-as-you-go (PAYG) nursery. Chief Executive of Babbu, Charlie Rosier, thanked all the contributors and added, “The Role of the Family in Early Years Education’ is an important report because it acknowledges the importance of parents’ desire to broaden their knowledge of parenting, participate in the learning experience and have access to choices that they are enabled to make. Our experience with Babbu has taught us that just as no family is the same, ‘one size fits all’ no longer adds up for early years education. The experience of the pandemic shone a light on the isolation felt by many parents and emphasised how important it was then and is now for them to be supported emotionally and practically so that every parent has agency in how and where their own child learns. Today, it takes a learning community to educate a child whatever that community might be. It is the responsibility of the Government to provide the resolution and financial resource to empower a new generation.”

Sue Atkins, Award Winning Author of The Divorce Journal for Kids, BBC, ITV and Disney’s Parenting Expert, and recent advisor to Babbu, said “Families play an essential role in the earliest years of children’s lives. With love, support and guidance, parents and caregivers can help them to develop physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. If families are enabled to prioritise their children’s wellbeing during this critical period, they will provide a strong foundation for their later happiness, healthiness and achievement. Currently, support for families is very fragmented across the UK and often fails to reach the very families most in need of it. Therefore, it is crucial to offer practical, non-judgemental advice, support and guidance to parents in the early years of their child’s life. I am thrilled to introduce this groundbreaking report; highlighting the essential significance of the family in a child’s early educational development.”

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