International Research Topics:
European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA):
One of the current research issue referenced by EECERA is the closing of numerous nursery schools in England. The House of Commons select committee reports that “many maintained nursery schools have closed in the last decade” (over a hundred in England) despite robust evidence to show that they offer the best outcomes to disadvantaged young children. The benefits of attending a maintained nursery school last right the way through the school system: their closure represents the worst sort of short-term thinking. The youngest and most vulnerable children are being harmed by these irresponsible actions.
Local government has a vital role to play in the successful delivery of the national programs to provide free nursery schools for disadvantaged two-years-old. Children will only benefit if they attend a good-quality early years setting with appropriately qualified staff. Numerous nursery school dismayed that some councils fund settings without a good rating, and further dismayed by the cutbacks for training courses and to teams of early years advisers. Without training and ongoing support, quality will not sustain and the poorest settings will not improve.
I was surprised to know that a recent report on summer-born children has highlighted the pressure being put on children and parents by local authorities and schools to enter reception class before the age of five. England faces the same dilemma as the schools in the United States.
All these short-term actions which damage children in their early years will have an upward impact as they go through their schooling. This in turn damages communities. Local authorities must do more than blame national government and the economic recession. We therefore call on candidates in the forthcoming local elections in England and Northern Ireland to stop cutting early years provision and pledge their support for the high-quality provision that will benefit young children and their families now, and for years to come.
International early childhood education needs funds in England and advocates to appeal to council for quality education for the early learners.