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Quality early learning is good for children of all backgrounds

The latest in a series of reports from the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), a major longitudinal study of early years education following almost 6,000 children in England from age two through to the end of KS1 (age seven), has been published today. The report uncovers key factors associated with high quality experiences in early childhood education and care settings (ECEC).

As part of the SEED study, researchers measured quality in 1,000 settings caring for children aged from two to four years old.

The newly published findings indicate that spending more time in quality early years’ education in group settings such as nurseries, nursery classes or playgroups between ages two to four can have a positive impact on the cognitive development and social and emotional development of children aged four years old – regardless of their social background. Additionally, children that spend more time with childminders were also found to have fewer emotional difficulties such as fears and worries.

This report focused on the development of children age two to four years and looks at the range of ECEC that children receive. It also assessed the impact of the parent child relationship on child development, and whether the quality of the home learning environment may play a role.

The research which is conducted by a consortium comprising the University of Oxford, Action for Children, Frontier Economics and the National Centre for Social Research, was commissioned in 2012 by the Department for Education.

The report can be accessed here.