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Improving Quality of Services in the Early Years Sector (in Surrey, England)

Improving Quality of Services in the Early Years Sector (in Surrey, England). Mary MacKenzie. Surrey, England. One of 42 English counties Situated south of London P opulation 1.1 million 272,400 children 0-19 years 9.9% live in poverty In “pockets of disadvantage”. What is quality?.

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Improving Quality of Services in the Early Years Sector (in Surrey, England)

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  1. Improving Quality of Services in the Early Years Sector (in Surrey, England) Mary MacKenzie

  2. Surrey, England • One of 42 English counties • Situated south of London • Population 1.1 million • 272,400 children 0-19 years • 9.9% live in poverty • In “pockets of disadvantage”

  3. What is quality? Quality measures are designed to serve different purposes: • Regulation • Research • Improving practice

  4. The EPPE Project • EPPE Project (the Effective Provision of Pre-school Education) • Carried out between 1997 and 2003 • First major European study of young children’s development between ages 3 and 7 years • Children tracked to find out how different sorts of pre-school education care would affect their development

  5. Findings of EPPE Project • Attending pre-school enhances all round development in children • High quality pre-schooling is related to better intellectual and social/behavioural development • Settings with higher qualified staff have higher quality scores and children progress more • Quality of home learning environment is vital

  6. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela

  7. How is quality measured in England • Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) • Environmental Rating Scales (ECERS-R, ECERS-E and ITERS-R) • Quality Assurance/Improvement schemes

  8. National Quality Improvement Network (NQIN) • NQIN supports providers to improve outcomes for young children • Informs national policy on quality improvement • All quality improvement frameworks are based around the ten Quality Improvement principles

  9. “A rich child often sits on a poor parent’s lap” - Danish proverb

  10. Recent research findings: Quality and Inequality – Nuffield Foundation (2014) • Government maintained schools in disadvantaged areas offer quality for 3-4 year olds comparable with those schools serving the more advantaged (using ECERS and ITERS) • Quality was lower in settings in deprived areas within private, voluntary and independent sector • Evident in quality of interactions, support for learning, language and literacy and diversity • Settings with a graduate member of staff scored more highly on all quality measures

  11. “Hot off the press……” • Latest EPPE (or EPPSE 3-16 as now entitled) report launched 9 September 2014 • Entitled “Students Educational and Developmental Outcomes at Age 16” • Found pre-school attendance predicted higher total GCSE scores • Quality of pre-school predicted both total GCSE scores and English and Maths grades • Attending quality pre-school predicted greater likelihood of following an academic pathway

  12. Quality Improvement in Surrey • Adopted and adapted quality kitemark in 2006 • Called it the Surrey Quality Assurance Scheme • Started with a pilot scheme of 20 settings • Each setting mentor supported

  13. Quality Improvement in Surrey • Settings chose to participate • Needed to have a good or outstanding Ofsted outcome • It was free! • Settings did not receive any financial reimbursement for participating

  14. How the scheme worked • Focused on Every Child Matters • 5 modules in a question and answer format with prompts to assist practitioners • Evidence produced to uphold the answers • Development Plan for identifying areas of improvement • Mentor supported

  15. Benefits from QIA • Ofsted ratings improved • 59% of QIA participants went from a Good to an Outstanding outcome whereas the national average was 13% • Self evaluation became part of practice for all staff • It covers all areas of practice in a controlled way • It develops an ethos of on going reflective practice

  16. Pitfalls and lessons learnt • Too labour intensive and paper heavy • At first settings did not involve all staff • Time was a big issue • Sometimes staff felt it was being done to them rather than it being their scheme • Tended to be an affirmation of good practice rather than a reflective tool

  17. Revised scheme • Business, leadership, management, practice and provision are at its heart • Written with the help of practitioners who had been involved in earlier versions • Concentrated on simplicity and ease of use • Range of assessment tools including Environmental Rating Scales

  18. Lessons learnt in our team • Being reflective in our approach • Focusing on the process rather than the end product • Acted on actions arising from interim and final evaluations with participants • From their suggestions we adapted the scheme and method of working • Have focused on quality improvement rather than an affirmation of general practice

  19. Challenges we face • Maintaining the good quality of practice in settings which have completed the scheme • Focusing on settings in disadvantaged areas • Targeting settings which have received a Requires Improvement or Satisfactory Ofsted outcome • Different priorities from the Department of Education

  20. Benefits of an extensive quality improvement program We offer a range of tools for settings to use in conjunction with targeted support from Early Years staff • Quality Improvement Program • Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements audit • Environmental Rating Scales audits • Wonder Years program (Baby room project) • Free entitlement for two year olds audit • Early language audits

  21. References • Sylva,K., Meluish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I and Taggart, B (2010) Early childhood matters: Evidence from the Effective Pre-school and Primary Education project. London: Routledge. • Department for Education (2012) Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage. Setting the standard for learning, development and care for children from birth to five • Field, F., (2010) The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults. The Report of the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances. • Harms, T., Cryer, D and Clifford, R.M. (2003) Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale: Revised Edition. New York, NY: • Mathers, S. Singler, R. & Karemaker A. (2012) Improving quality in the early years: a comparison of perspectives and measures. London Oxford: university of Oxford and Daycare Trust. • Nutbrown, C., (2012) Review of Early Education and Childcare Qualifications: Interim Report . London. Department for Education DfE.

  22. Thank you. Any Questions?

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