Government early years policies are ‘entrenching disadvantage’

Reform of the “perverse” 30 hours funded childcare offer is vital, MPs have claimed – after finding the government’s early years policies are worsening disadvantage. Despite the government’s “good intentions”, its “confused approach” to early years education is widening the attainment gap between better and worse-off children, claims the commons education committee’s report Tackling Disadvantage in the Early Years. The highly critical report states that the government’s life chances strategy was “never published”, its social mobility action plan “did not fully address the role played by the early years”, and its flagship 30 hours policy “is entrenching disadvantage rather than closing the gap”. The report, which results from the committee’s Life chances inquiry, calls for government action in three key areas to help improve the situation – starting with reform of the 30 hours entitlement. The policy is widely criticised by the sector for prioritising getting parents into work, rather than being grounded in the needs of children. Read more.