Memorandum from the Campaign for State
Education (CASE) (EY 52)
CASE firmly believes that:
1. All early years provision for children
up to the end of the Foundation Stage should be of high quality
well trained and qualified staff
who have ongoing professional development;
a high ratio of adults to children;
a curriculum building on children's
innate desire to learn, covering all main areas of educational
experience and based on learning through play, exploration, trying
out, questioning, problem solving and reflection which enables
all children to realise their talents, develop their particular
interests and participate effectively in social and cultural life.
welcoming and well maintained indoor
and outdoor space with a wide variety of materials and equipment
to reflect cultural diversity, provide a range of different experiences
and meet the needs of all the children.
a policy for equal opportunities
an integrated approach which provides
access and support for children who have special educational needs
and all staff trained in this area.
2. Working with parents as equal partners
and as co-ordinators is fundamental to good provision and should
be part of all training for early years practitionersthis
includes involving parents in the curriculum, helping them understand
what their children are learning and how they can help and developing
assessment systems in which they are fully involved.
3. There needs to be a close partnership
with primary education so that children and parents experience
a smooth transition between phases and the learning continuum
is not interrupted. This means more primary teachers visiting
early years settings and joint training between early years practitioners
and Key Stage 1 teachers and assistants.
4. The views of children are important and
listening to and taking account of what they have to say needs
to be part of both the planning and assessment process.
5. The use of a framework for planning is
vital and "Quality in Diversity in early learning" (published
by National Children's Bureau Enterprises Ltd) is recommended
for all settings.
6. A significant part of a child's learning
comes from the local and wider community. All settings are part
of a community. CASE believes that the curriculum can be greatly
enriched by using the expertise within the community both by bringing
new skills to the setting and by enabling children to have a wider
learning experience outside the setting. Incorporating a range
of supportive services for families such as exist in many Early
Excellence Centres including libraries, toy libraries, learning
opportunities for adults and health advice will also benefit children.
CASE would welcome the opportunity to discuss
the points raised in this submission in more detail with the Committee.
Campaign for State Education (CASE)