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NEWS: New study suggests that having a graduate in early years settings improves learning outcomes

Today the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has released findings from an important two-year study funded by the Nuffield Foundation on the impact of having degree-qualified graduate staff in early years private, voluntary and independent (PVI) settings in England.

The research suggests that the presence of a graduate with Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in early years settings has a small but positive effect on a child’s learning outcomes, measured using the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) assessment.

Importantly, these learning gains were found to be carried well into a child’s education journey through primary school up to Year 6.

This positive effect was greater in children who spent longer than 15 hours per week in early years services compared to children attending fewer hours. This finding has led the EPI to call on Government to consider extending the 30 hours of funded childcare to include disadvantaged children who are not currently included in this offering.

Read the full report here.

A separate research piece also published today from EPI and University of Plymouth and supported by the Nuffield Foundation demonstrates that students and employers find the early years degrees currently on offer in England highly variable and difficult to navigate.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:
“The research studies published today confirm the crucial role of high quality early years services in improving children’s educational outcomes not only in the early years but later in life too. Given these findings, PACEY echoes EPI’s call on Government for a meaningful review into expanding the 30 hours funding entitlement to make this accessible for the most disadvantaged families. 

Currently there are too many barriers which prevent highly skilled workers from entering the early years sector to deliver the best quality provision that all children deserve. These systemic challenges can only be addressed by the Government committing to long-term funding for the early years to ensure that services remain sustainable and that the workforce is recognised for its value.”