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LGA responds to research on early years provision for children in care

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board, said: "This report highlights the vital importance of the right support in the early years for children, and the excellent work that councils and early years providers do to recognise and meet the needs of vulnerable children."

"This report highlights the vital importance of the right support in the early years for children, and the excellent work that councils and early years providers do to recognise and meet the needs of vulnerable children.

"Research shows that children spending extended periods of time in care achieve consistently better results than children in need who remain outside the care system, emphasising the importance of a stable and supportive home life. 71 per cent of looked-after children are now in early education with the vast majority of providers rated as good or outstanding.

"Further analysis of the reasons for the 14 per cent lower take up is needed, with the report itself acknowledging that this could be influenced by the specific, complex situations and needs of many looked-after children.

"It's good to see the report recognising the important role that Health Visitors, social workers and family outreach services play in making sure looked-after children get the right type of education, but it also acknowledges the very significant funding pressures on local authorities and early years providers. Outreach and tailored support are precisely the things that are suffering in the current challenging funding environment.

"But despite this challenging environment the report highlights some excellent local work and it would be useful to share this more widely across the sector, for example in relation to virtual schools, and how councils continue to strengthen the use and collection of relevant local data.

"The answer does not, however, lie in giving councils additional statutory responsibilities, but it would be useful to give councils greater scope to intervene on quality, making sure that local early years provision can more efficiently meet the specific needs of disadvantaged children, including those in care."

Related information: http://www.familyandchildcaretrust.org/study-finds-missed-opportunities-why-children-care-need-early-education

 

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