Parentkind welcomes new DfE ‘Better Health — Start for Life’ campaign
Parentkind agrees that the evidence overwhelmingly shows that access to early education is crucial in supporting children to thrive in adulthood and contribute to society, though it is always most effective in partnership with parents. Parentkind also welcomes efforts to put children’s education and skills back on track after the pandemic; the aim at the heart of the new initiative.
The campaign is part of a £180 million scheme to accelerate pre-school children’s language, maths and social skills. This includes substantial investment in training for early years professionals, including early years special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs). Parents will gain additional advice through Family Hubs that are planned to open next year.
Parentkind CEO John Jolly says, “It is encouraging to see the DfE’s recognition that children’s development and learning has been badly impacted by the pandemic, and that specialist professional training is needed to redress it. Our research has shown that parents of children with SEND have had additional challenges over the last few years, and it is right that the campaign acknowledges this and seeks to honour previous commitments to improving SEND provision in all educational settings. It is also promising to see that the Department for Education has recognised the vital parental role in children’s development and learning. This starts from birth and is especially crucial during the child’s early years.
This said, parental participation remains a crucial component of children’s learning throughout their education. We hope to see future initiatives that will encourage and embed parental participation into the education system at every phase of a child’s school journey. But this boost to early years is a great start, and it’s important for policymakers to remember that this investment in young children’s development will pay off in the long term. Parentkind hopes to see future cohorts of early years children benefit from this or similar schemes. Remaining vigilant against impatient short-term thinking will be key to improving early years education for future generations too.”
See more details at the Department for Education.