Quality Matters in Early Childhood Education and Care: United Kingdom (England) 2012

image of Quality Matters in Early Childhood Education and Care: United Kingdom (England) 2012

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) can bring a wide range of benefits – for children, parents and society at large. However, these benefits are conditional on “quality”. Expanding access to services without attention to quality will not deliver good outcomes for children or long-term productivity benefits for society.

This series of country reports focuses on quality issues. Each report tackles a specific theme that was selected by the country reviewed. These reports suggest strengths and point to areas for further reflection on current policy initiatives.



Executive summary

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is receiving increased policy interest in England, as improving quality in the ECEC sector is a subject of growing importance. England considers improving quality through family and community engagement as a priority, as cooperation between the ECEC sector, parents and the community can contribute to providing a more continuous child development process. Parental and community engagement can also strengthen the quality of parenting and the home-learning environment. Additionally, it can enhance children’s early development and mitigate the negative effects of family background. The continuity of children’s experiences across different environments is greatly enhanced when ECEC centres co-operate with parents and communities and adopt consistent approaches to child development and learning.


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