Khalid Mahmood – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Khalid Mahmood on 2016-03-23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to encourage nurseries to teach early language skills.

Mr Sam Gyimah

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework sets the standards for the provision of learning, development and care for children from birth to five year olds that all registered early years providers such as maintained nurseries must follow. Within the EYFS, there are several areas of learning and development that shape the educational programme in the early years settings, one of which is communication and language.

The EYFS makes clear that children should be given opportunities to experience a rich language environment to help them develop the confidence and skills they need to express themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations. The EYFS requires practitioners to ensure all children have the opportunities to learn and develop a good standard of English language to ensure they are ready to benefit from the opportunities available to them when they begin primary school.

We have also worked closely with 4Children to develop the What to Expect, When? guide which illustrates to parents and early years providers the tools they can use to help their children’s language development from birth to five years old, and can be found at: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/2015/03/what-to-expect-when-a-parents-guide/

The Department for Education has also awarded £5.3 million to voluntary and community sector organisations of which a number are supporting staff to develop strong pedagogical approaches to language development and early literacy.