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A fair start? Equalising access to early education

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Pascal, C., Cole-Albäck, A., Bertram, T., Farquharson, C., Montacute, R., & Holt-White, E.
Publication Date: 
19 Aug 2021
PDF icon A-Fair-Start-Summary-Report.pdf428.84 KB

Excerpted from summary

The full report contains three main sections:

What do we know about the 30 hour entitlement? – literature review and qualitative stakeholder work

Authored by Professor Chris Pascal, Professor Tony Bertram and Dr Aline Cole-Albäck from the Centre for Research in Early Childhood, this section includes:

• A literature review summarising existing evidence on the 30 hour policy and potential impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

• A policy analysis summarising some of the options for reform, with pros and cons for each.

• Qualitative work with providers, to look at the impact of the 30 hours policy, particularly on disadvantaged families, and views of providers on potential reform.

Views on the ground from parents, teachers, and providers

Authored by the Sutton Trust’s Rebecca Montacute and Erica Holt-White, this section includes:

• A survey of parents, looking at the impact of the pandemic on the development of their own children.

• Surveys of primary school leaders and early years teachers, looking at how the pandemic has affected school readiness in young children.

• A survey of early years providers, particularly in the private and voluntary sector, looking at their views of the entitlement and on their capacity to offer an expansion to the entitlement, with thanks to the Early Years Alliance

Costing options for extending the 30 hour free entitlement

Authored by Christine Farquharson, Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, this section looks at:

• Costings for potential changes to the 30 hour policy, including expanding entitlement to disadvantaged three- and four-year-olds, and the costs of universalising provision. This work also includes costings for additional funding for disadvantaged children, to ensure any expansion to the entitlement can be delivered through high-quality provision.

• Wider impacts of expanding the 30 hour entitlement to children and their families, including potential benefits for child development, potential impacts on parental employment and the associated benefits to public finances.