Department of Education

Research projects

Quality and Inequality in the Early Years

Research tells us that high quality early years provision can help to narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers. However, there are indications that the children most in need of good quality are the least likely to receive it, because quality is lowest among providers serving disadvantaged areas and children.

In this study the research team aim to address this important issue, using secondary analysis of data gathered between 2007 and 2013 from 1,248 early years providers and more than 40,000 children attending them. They will explore whether settings and schools located in disadvantaged areas – and those serving disadvantaged threeand four-year-olds – were offering comparable quality to those serving the more advantaged. They will also consider the drivers of quality, to explore which kinds of providers were most able to offer good quality in deprived areas.

  • Final Report

Research Team

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