According to a recent Ofsted survey, approximately 80,000 disadvantaged children last year were not benefitting from free childcare and education paid for by the Government.
The statistics show that one third of all 2 year olds in England, who meet the criteria for free education, did not attend pre-school childcare or education as part of the Government’s offer of over £200 million free childcare spaces.
The number of 2 year old from lower income households who were taking up the offer since July 2015 had increased by 10 per cent.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, Head of Ofsted, commissioned the most recent survey in order to get a better insight to how local councils, schools and early year providers were assisting with the most underprivileged families within their community.
In the most disadvantaged communities, 18 per cent of the early years childcare and education providers are considered “less than good”. This is a 10 per cent difference in comparison to the most privileged areas, where only 8 per cent are considered below good standard.
Sir Wilshaw commented saying that some of the institutions are making good use of available funding to benefit underprivileged children; however a selection of the intuitions surveyed were not as ambitious. Additionally he said that the problems preventing the most deprived students from benefitting from funding would need to be addressed on both national and local levels.
The report suggests key information should be shared by all early years education providers including schools, nurseries and childminders in order to determine the needs of the most disadvantaged children. Additionally, the report recommends that clear strategies should be devised which ensure that households with underprivileged children are kept aware about opportunities available to them.
Ofsted’s early education deputy director, Gill Jones, said that despite many places benefitting disadvantaged children, many children do not receive the support they deserve, reiterating the fact that key information should be shared directly between early years childcare providers.
We welcome comments from all our readers - so please feel free to express your views in the space below. You can also sign up to receive posts directly to your inbox, free of charge. Additionally, education professionals may be interested in joining our community.