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Progressing towards good quality childcare for all . Ivana La Valle NatCen seminar London, November 2010. The childcare strategy. Improve child outcomes by giving children the opportunity to attend a high quality early years setting

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Progressing towards good quality childcare for all

Progressing towards good quality childcare for all

Ivana La Valle

NatCen seminar

London, November 2010


The childcare strategy
The childcare strategy

  • Improve child outcomes by giving children the opportunity to attend a high quality early years setting

  • Reduce child poverty by enabling low income mothers to go out to work


The childcare journey
The childcare journey

  • Meeting the Childcare Challenge (1998)

  • Sure Start Local Programmes (1999)

  • Care Standards Act (2000)

  • Neighbourhood Nurseries (2001)

  • Inter-departmental Childcare Review (2002)

  • 10-Year Strategy for Childcare (2004)

  • Extended schools (2004)

  • Childcare Act (2006)

  • Early Years Professional status (2006)

  • Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (2008)

  • Updated Childcare Strategy (2009)

  • Early Years Single Funding Formula (2009)

  • Free PT EYE for disadvantaged 2 year olds (2009)

  • A children centre in every neighbourhood (2010)


Implementing the childcare strategy
Implementing the childcare strategy

  • Improve child outcomes by giving children the opportunity to attend a high quality early years setting

  • free early years education for all 3 and 4 year olds (and from Sept 09 disadvantaged 2 year olds)

  • Reduce child poverty by enabling low income mothers to go out to work

  • range of targeted initiatives and subsidies



The free entitlement
The free entitlement

  • Take up almost universal among 4 year olds (97%) and very high among 3 year olds (89%) – in 1999 84% of 4 year olds and 64% of 3 year olds in EYE

  • Early education gap between affluent and disadvantaged children has narrowed considerably

  • Free entitlement delivered mainly in maintained sector where quality is high


Key features of the free entitlement
Key features of the free entitlement

  • 3 and 4 year olds legally entitled to part-time early years education

  • Free at the point of delivery – funding given directly to settings

  • Mainly delivered by schools in their nursery and reception classes:

    -places created within existing structures

    -local authorities can directly influence decisions about early years provision


The free entitlement what remains to be done
The free entitlement: what remains to be done

  • The free entitlement is not always free – is the level of funding adequate?

  • A small minority of mainly disadvantaged children do not take up the free entitlement – need better marketing and outreach strategies?



Early years provision for working families
Early years provision for working families

  • Increase from 14% to 19% of 2 year olds in day nurseries

  • Little change in 3-4 year olds in day nurseries

  • No significant change in use of childminders

  • Disadvantaged children considerably less likely to use these providers


Key features of early years provision for working families
Key features of early years provision for working families

  • Supply regulated mainly by market forces – with government intervention to redress market imbalances

  • Largely provided by the private sector (but voluntary sector growing)

  • Expensive and only partly funded through range of subsidies targeted at specific groups/areas


Early years provision for working families what remains to be done
Early years provision for working families: what remains to be done

  • Some disadvantaged mothers don’t work because they can’t find/afford childcare

  • Cost remains a barrier – complex funding system

  • Gap for provision at atypical hours, flexible services and places for disabled children

  • Disadvantaged mothers considerably less likely to have access to family-friendly working arrangements


Progressing towards good quality childcare for all

References: be done

La Valle I. and Smith R. (2009) ‘Good quality childcare for all? Progress towards universal provision’ National Institute Economic Review, 207 (January), pp.75-82Butt S., Goddard K., La Valle I. and Hill M. (2007), Childcare Nation? Progress on the childcare strategy and priorities for the future, Daycare Trust and NatCen Report, London, Daycare Trust ilavalle@ncb.org.uk