The BBC is reporting calls from a children’s charity for every nursery in England to have a qualified early years teacher to help toddlers develop speech and language skills.
…The Save the Children report, Lighting Up Young Brains, is written in conjunction with the Institute of Child Health at University College London and highlights pre-school years as a “critical opportunity” for the brain to develop key skills.
The report suggests the government should make playtime “brain time” under the guidance of a qualified early years teacher.
The charity says failure to properly stimulate toddlers’ brains during nursery years could set them back for decades.
Save the Children claims government figures show almost 130,000 children in England last year were falling behind with language abilities before they even reached school…
For its research, the charity also conducted a survey of 1,000 parents and found that almost half had low expectations for their child’s early learning.
Of the 1,000 parents from England surveyed, 47% said they hoped their child would know 100 words by their third birthday – but this is only half the recommended number.
And 56% of parents did not think they had enough help and advice to understand their child’s early learning…
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said while a graduate-led workforce could improve learning, nurseries needed better funding to pay better qualified staff…
The authors of the Save the Children report say the early years are vital for children’s development and should be treated as a priority.
Torsten Baldeweg, professor of neuroscience and child health at UCL’s Institute of Child Health, said: “It is precisely this period where we have explosive brain growth, where most of the connections in the brain are formed.
“And we know that if these connections are not formed they, to variable degrees, will suffer longer-term consequences to their physical, cognitive but also emotional development.
“That’s perhaps one of the most important lessons we’ve learned from these studies – that these early years are absolutely critical. Much more must be done to boost children’s early learning…”
Read or download the report in full:
There are a number of issues covered in this report but what do you make of the central idea that more needs to be done to stimulate children’s brains before they start school?
Would better qualified staff in nurseries and more conscious “brain time” make a meaningful difference to our education levels and attainment gap?
Please give us your thoughts, reactions and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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