Educating Norfolk: Early years provision

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2014

Teacher playing with students

Teacher playing with students

(C) 2009 Jupiterimages

The skills and training that children have before they enter primary school is a growing priority for the government and Ofsted, which last month tightened its inspection regime for early years settings.

According to Norfolk County Council, in 2013 45% of Norfolk children achieve a “good level of development” aged five, compared to a national average of 52%, but it said data up to October 2013 predicted a local rise to 51%.

For Gordon Boyd, early years is “a real focus of Children’s Services”, and the council has a role in challenging nurseries.

He said: “What we really need is not for childminders to run off scared and say ‘I’m not going to do this any more’, but to say ‘I’m up for the challenge and do better’. Those who are not up for the challenge maybe should not be doing it.”

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