New report: transforming early childhood by narrowing the gap between lower- and higher-income families

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Category: News

Teacher in a classroom

A new report offers recommendations to narrow the gap in school readiness between children in lower- and higher-income families.

The report was commissioned by Nesta and authored by Professor Kathy Sylva, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Education, and Naomi Eisenstadt CB, Chair of the Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board, and reflects on policies that have benefitted or not benefitted children from low-income backgrounds to inform nine recommendations to narrow the gap in outcomes at school entry.

The recommendations include improving pay, working conditions and career structure for the early years workforce, improving workforce training, and allowing providers to apply for pupil premium to the primary school level.

Professor Kathy Sylva said: “Weighing up all the evidence, the single most important action to bridge the gap is to provide high-quality, teacher-led early education, ideally starting from two years of age for children from low-income families. Parallel efforts to reduce child poverty itself should be part of the longer-term road map.”

A launch event for the report took place in London on 26 February. Professor Sylva and Naomi Eisendstadt presented the report findings, and were joined by Professor Iram Siraj, Professor of Child Development and Education at the Department of Education, and Dr Mike Brewer, Chief Scientist at the Resolution Foundation to discuss the recommendations.

Watch the launch event on YouTube.

Read the full report, “Transforming early childhood: narrowing the gap between children from lower- and higher-income families”.