Early education improves exam results and career prospects
We all want the best for our children and want them to have the best start in life. But when do we start making these decisions? Well according to Sam Gyimah, the childcare minister, children who attend pre-school gain better exams results can earn around £27,000 more during their career than children who do not attend pre-school!
But at this young age, are we really thinking that far ahead? Surely at pre-school children are playing, making friends and learning to be independent, not preparing for their future career!
More schools should offer nursery education
Yet Gymiah is urging more schools to offer nursery education to improve their life chances.
“We know that before they have knotted their school tie, fastened the laces on their shoes and headed off for their first day at school, a child’s life chances are already being decided…That’s how important early education is!”
He believes pre-school helps children with the transition to primary school, helping them to settle more easily and even help children further down the line.
It gives children a boost and helps parents too
“It not only sets a child off on the right foot at school, but gives them a boost right throughout their life.”
Currently, just under half (44%) of primary and infant schools in England have nursery classes. Gymiah has suggested that schools that do offer nursery places have better behaved children and higher attainment results. It makes the step from nursery education to reception smoother for young children and is easier for working parents who can drop off at school or nursery at the same time.
“Too much too soon”
Some critics have argued that having nurseries in schools is “schoolifying” the early years and places too much pressure on young children. But Gyimah dismisses these claims,
“You would imagine rows of children lined up in classrooms, sitting in silence and learning about quadratic equations…But I’ve seen school nurseries and I’ve seen the way they are run…They’re bright and cheerful. Children take part in messy play; they read, sing and recite rhymes… It’s about teaching children to socialise; to play and to behave.”
What is best for our children?
We all do what works for us and the whole family. Some of us have parents, friends and other family members who can help with childcare, others don’t have this luxury and have no option but to send children to nursery or a childminder. So who is doing the best for their children and does it really matter at this stage? What support will be offered to parents who want their children to attend nursery but cannot afford it?
Children can receive free nursery hours from the age of 3 and others, if they are within the financial guidelines can benefit much sooner. But if children are likely to earn a better salary and gain better exam results by attending nursery or pre-school, surely every child should have this opportunity.
Gymiah believes the Government needs to support parents and encourage schools to consider their early education services.
“Of course we want parents to be confident that the childcare being provided is the very best for their child, preparing them for life in modern Britain…Which is why I want all schools to consider the nursery provision they can offer, and why this Government wants to work with them to make it happen.”