“Early years education plays a vital part in children’s development and has a real bearing on their readiness to start school. It is important that the sector is properly funded and supported to provide not only childcare but high-quality learning. It is here where gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers first appear, and therefore it is crucial that all children have the opportunity to access high-quality education from a young age. Equally important is that families are given the support they need in order to fully make use of these settings, and that there are sufficient places available for them to do so.
“Early years education plays a key role in establishing the foundations for future success. Any government looking to raise standards must invest in the sector to ensure it has the capacity to provide all children with the best possible start to their education.”