Following Dame Claire Tickell’s 'Early Years Foundation Stage Review' published in March 2011 the government is currently in the process of implementing its recommendations, for launch in September 2012. The proposals involve a drastically streamlined EYFS framework making it easier to understand, less bureaucratic and placing children at the heart of policy.
Moreover, the provisions from the 2011 'Education Act' will also involve significant changes. The Act will give disadvantaged families the right to 15 hours free Early Years provision a week and make way for a slimmed down curriculum. The government has also offered to fund Early Years Professional Status training as a means of getting children ready for school and improve standards.
The way in which Ofsted inspects and regulates nurseries and childminders is also set to change in September 2012 as part of the new EYFS framework. The proposed changes will aim to raise expectations, with a greater focus on children’s personal, social and emotional development and the progress that children make in their learning.
Improving health and wellbeing in the early years of a child’s life is another key priority for the UK government. In August 2011, the new national health visitor taskforce was created to expand and strengthen health services, with an extra 4,200 health visitors due to be in post by April 2015.