Developed in conjunction with the Education Policy Institute, a new report commissioned by the industry’s international charity, Ark, has warned that changes in government policy which were intentionally designed to help working families could result in restrictions to quality early years education for disadvantaged communities.
The ‘Early learning and childcare – delivering for disadvantaged children in England‘ report reflects on new proposals expected to take action from September 2017, where working families of three to four-year-olds will see their free entitlement double from 15 to 30 hours per week. In turn, both parties firmly state that this initiative will result in ‘significant implications’ across all parts of the sector; particularly amongst school-based providers which have been identified by Ofsted as offering the environments in which disadvantaged children ‘often do best’.
It is thought that only a small number of low-income working families will be able to qualify for the new entitlement and parents who are students or carers – or those with disabled children – will also be less likely to qualify. In addition, exclusion will extend to families that uphold a ‘cultural preference’ for one parent to stay at home while children are young.
Read the full report here