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Research School Network: What makes the biggest difference to a child’s success in early learning? Julian Grenier, considers this key question as children’s early education is being disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic

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What makes the biggest difference to a child’s success in early learning?

Julian Grenier, considers this key question as children’s early education is being disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic

What makes the biggest difference to a child’s success in early learning? This is a key question, especially now that we are in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and children’s early education is being disrupted.

It’s the question that one of the world’s biggest longitudinal studies into early childhood education and care (ECEC) sought to answer.

The effective pre-school, primary and secondary education (EPPSE) project (Taggart et al., 2015) tracked a large cohort of children from their early years all the way through to the end of their secondary schooling. The research found that accessing high-quality early childhood education and care makes a positive difference to children’s learning. That’s true both for their early years, and also throughout their schooling.

FEEL

The finding is especially strong for disadvantaged children. Professor Iram Siraj and her colleagues sum this up neatly in their 2016Fostering effective early learning’ (FEEL) report:

‘Although the importance of high quality ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) for fostering children’s development and learning extends across the gradient of social disadvantage, it is particularly significant for children from highly disadvantaged backgrounds.’

Read on in The Education Exchange from the Chartered College of Teachers.

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