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.


What are the challenges and strategies?

Common challenges countries face in engaging families and communities in ECEC are: 1) lack of awareness and motivation; 2) communication and outreach; 3) time constraints; 4) increasing inequity; and 5) co-operation with other services and levels of education.

England has made several efforts to tackle these challenges by, for example, revising entitlement to free hours of ECEC to meet parental needs. To further their efforts, England could consider strategies implemented by New Zealand, Nordic countries and the United States, such as involving parents in curriculum development; training staff specifically on communication and co-operation with community services; setting flexible times for contact hours between staff and parents; developing specialised parenting home programmes; and bridging between ECEC provisions and different community services.


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