Integrated early years services must go back to the top of the agenda


Press release taken from:


Wednesday, 5 November, 2014

A literature review by leading early years experts has found that current evidence supports continued and increasing investment in early childhood programmes, particularly those aiming to enhance parenting and healthy living skills and provide children with early access to high quality early education.

The review also advocates a renewed focus on integrated working between early years, health and social care professionals, and better links between nursery and primary schools and children’s centres.

According to the authors, Professors Chris Pascal and Tony Bertram of the Centre for Research in Early Childhood:

“The policy challenge is to rebuild the current systems so that they meet the crucial design features; provide high early quality education and care for all children and outstanding health and social care support for parents and families.  At the same time, they must be integrated, attractive and affordable to all families regardless of social class or minority status; and sensitive to differing needs, working in a child- and family-centred way and able to compensate for early disadvantages.”

The findings of the review will be presented at Early Education’s AGM and seminar on Saturday 8 November, and the review is available to download for free from the Early Education website .

Early Education Chief Executive Beatrice Merrick commented

“This review is an important resource for policy makers at local and national level which we are delighted to be able to make freely available to the sector.  At a time when local authorities are making tough decisions about funding for early years services it underlines the importance of maintaining strategic and integrated approaches to achieve the best outcomes for children, while making most effective use of scarce resources.”

Contact for further enquiries:

For further information please contact Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive, Early Education (07712 398672) or or Sean Delaney, Assistant Director at CREC on 0121 464 0024.
Notes to editors:

1. Early Education (The British Association for Early Childhood Education) is the leading independent national charity for early years practitioners and parents, campaigning for the right of all children to education of the highest quality.  Founded in 1923, it has members in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and provides a national voice on matters that relate to effective early childhood education and care of young children from birth to eight.  The organisation supports the professional development of practitioners through publications, training, conferences, seminars and access to a national and regional branch network.  

2. CREC – Centre for Research in Early Childhood – is the home of CREC in Birmingham (Charitable Trust) and Amber Publications & Training Ltd (APT). Led by Professor Dr Chris Pascal & Professor Dr Tony Bertram, CREC specialises in early childhood research which has relevant and meaningful outcomes for practice and policy, both in the UK and internationally. Located in the heart of Birmingham, within the St Thomas Children’s Centre, CREC’s research is often transformed into training and development programmes designed for the specific needs of the early years sector.

Early Education is registered as a charity in England and Wales (Registered Number 313082) and Scotland (Registered Number SC039472).


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