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

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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.



Where does the United kingdom (England) stand compared to other

In England, the importance and value of involving parents and communities in providing good care and education for young children is increasingly recognised. England has a clear government plan to enhance parental and community engagement; involves parents in evaluating ECEC services; has plans to strengthen the co-operation between ECEC and health services; targets disadvantaged families to decrease inequity; and supports young parents.

Capitalising upon its strengths, England could further enhance quality in ECEC through strengthening parental and community engagement. Other country practices would suggest such options as: 1) reflecting on approaches to involve parents and communities; 2) reflecting parental views and opinions in ECEC programming; 3) reflecting upon societal changes to meet family and children’s needs, such as the increase in divorce rates, full-time working parents, increasing income inequality and increasing immigrant populations; and 4) further improving communication skills of ECEC staff.


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