|Research for You
Supporting families in the foundation years
The Government has set out its vision for the services that should be on offer for parents, children and families in the foundation years in its recently published document, Supporting Families in the Foundation Years. Developed jointly by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department of Health with advice from a range of experienced professionals, the document summarises the Government’s vision for the foundation years and describes the system of services that supports them.
The document explains why it is important to focus on child development and how parents and families should be placed at the heart of services. It also sets out the importance of intervening early and the role of different services, working together to ensure that children, their mothers and fathers and other key areas receive early help where needed.
Supporting Families in the Foundation Years also provides the Government's response to three reviews:
One of the key themes in the document is children’s development, so that by the age of five children are ready to take full advantage of the next stage of learning and have laid down foundations for good health in adult life. Others include supporting families, early intervention and workforce development.
A full evidence pack, downloaded from the same page details evidence from Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) Project and the Early Education Pilot for Two Year Old Children. These studies show how important it is for children to be attending early education and childcare that is of good quality if it is to have a significant effect on their cognitive development and attainment. Details of further reading is offered on several pages and in many cases there is a direct link to the suggested material, making it easy to follow up on areas that interest you. We may well follow up on some of these in future issues. Although the evidence pack runs to 47 pages and is quite wordy, it could be adapted to form a powerpoint-type presentation to update colleagues.
In conjunction with this document, a new website, Foundation Years, has been launched. The Foundation Years website comes from Foundations for the Future - a voluntary and community partnership (Foundations for the Future is the DfE’s early years strategic partner aiming to bring the early years and childcare sector together to improve quality, influence government policy and promote best practice). As its front page says:
"This website is for all those who work in the foundation years delivering services for children and families going through pregnancy or who have children between the ages of 0 and 5.
The broad range of information accessible on this site was developed by government, professionals and the voluntary and community sector, and aims to:
The website will evolve over the coming months as you add to it by sharing case studies and examples of what works well, and participating in discussion groups; as well as through resources that are co-produced being added to the site."
- set out the direction of travel for all those who work in the foundation years;
- answer any questions you have – specific or general; and
- direct you to other resources which can help you.
So this is your opportunity to have a say on what you would like to see on the website - either email foundations@4Children.org.uk or go to the website's contact page.