Early years: school readiness

School readiness is a measure of how prepared a child is to succeed in school cognitively, socially and emotionally. The Good Level of Development (GLD) indicator is used to assess school readiness. School Readiness at age 5 has a strong impact on future educational attainment and life chances.  Children who do not achieve a Good Level of Development aged 5 may struggle with social skills, reading, maths, and physical skills which can later impact on educational outcomes health and crime.

Nationally, levels of school readiness have increased year-on-year since 2012/13 (see Public Health England (PHE) Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) 1.02i: School Readiness: the percentage of children achieving a good level of development at the end of reception (Persons) ).

The local picture

Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

In Calderdale, we have increased the GLD for all children over the past few years, but we are still below national average, and children living in the most deprived areas of the borough do not achieve as well as children living in less deprived areas.

Narrowing the Gap (the achievement gap between the lowest attaining 20% of children and the mean average):

2013 2014 2015
National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale
36.6% 40.1% 36.8% 33.9% 37.6% 38.8% not applicable not applicable 33.5%

Good level of development - all children:

2013 2014 2015
National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale
52% 50% 45% 60% 59% 55% 66% not applicable 64.5%

Good level of development - 30% most deprived areas:

2013 2014 2015
National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale National Yorkshire and Humberside Calderdale
44% 42% 35% 53% 51% 44% not applicable not applicable 53.9%

Information on a range of indicators related to Early Years and school-readiness is available from the National Child and Maternal Health Intelligence Network (CHIMAT):

Current provision

Our Early Years Learning and Childcare Team have strategic responsibility for Narrowing the Gap in Early Years. Their work is targeted to meet the Early Years Learning and Childcare Strategy aims and ensuring that all children in Calderdale are Happy – Safe – Successful.

The team provide advice, information and guidance for children, families, early years and childcare providers in the private, voluntary and independent sectors, schools and Children’s Centres in Calderdale.

Early Years and Childcare Providers

Calderdale benefits from a diverse and vibrant high quality early years and childcare sector where 85% (August 2014) are rated at least ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Early Education Funding

The free early education entitlement is a key component in the teams work to narrow the gap and as at July 2015 100% of 3 and 4 year olds and 80% of eligible 2 year olds were benefiting from it.

Children’s Centres

Calderdale has 16 Children’s Centres across 21 sites, of which 10 have Full Day Care provision and one that offers provision for eligible 2 year olds accessing early education funding only.

There are five Children’s Centre groups across the borough and three of these were judged ‘good’ by Ofsted at inspection.  The remaining two groups are yet to be inspected under the current framework.

Children’s Centre data as of 30 March 2015 showed the following:

  • 81% of children aged 0-5 years registered;
  • 83% of children aged 0-5 years had contact with children’s centre services;
  • 86% of children aged 0-5 years living in 30% disadvantaged area had contact with children’s centre services.

The 2 Year Old Integrated Review

The Integrated Review brings together the information from the Health Review as part of the ‘Healthy Child Programme’ which all children aged around 2 years old will receive from their Health Visitor and the Education Review which all 2 year olds attending a setting will receive as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, known as the progress check.

User views

The childcare sector is consulted on the Local Authorities Narrowing the Gap agenda by the Early Years Support Group which meets termly.  It also benefits from an early years representation who sits on schools forum to represent their needs and views around future funding requirements for the free entitlement.

Parents are invited to give feedback about their child’s early learning experience to their childcare provider and Ofsted.  They are also given regular opportunities for consultation and shaping service delivery by our Children’s Centre providers.

Unmet needs

Priorities and development areas for the Early Years Learning and Childcare Team are outlined in the Early Years Learning and Childcare Strategy and Service Plan. The aim is that children and young people:

  • Start healthy and stay healthy;
  • Are safe at home, in childcare, school and in the community;
  • Enjoy learning and achieving their best;
  • Make friends and take part in activities;
  • Stay in education and get a job.

For further details, see Early years and childcare strategy 2013-14 (2013).

The childcare market in Calderdale does have some gaps in provision as evidenced in the most recent Childcare Sufficiency Assessment, see Calderdale Council childcare sufficiency assessment review , 2015.

Projected future need

Birth rates vary across Calderdale, and by ethnicity. It is expected that requirements for early years provision will change with the changing population structure, and that service provision will increasingly need to consider the different needs of population sub-groups. In particular, the live birth rate in Park ward remains significantly higher than the Calderdale average.

Key considerations linked to the known evidence base (what works?)

According to the Department of Health (DoH) Foundation Years evidence pack, School readiness can be improved by: good maternal mental health; learning activities including speaking to and reading to babies and young children; physical activity; parenting support programmes; high-quality early education (DoH, 2011).

References and further information

References

Further information

More information on children and young people can be found in the Further resources .

The National Child and Maternal Health Intelligence Network (CHIMAT) produce Early years profiles and Early years topic report at Local Authority level. These detail a range of indicators related to Early Years.

A Guide to the Early Years profiles is available from NHS England.

Further information on indicators of child health can be found in:

See also:

Author

Michelle Attmere, Service Manager - Early years Learning and Childcare, Children and Young People's Service, Calderdale Council;
Edited by Naomi Marquis, Public Health Intelligence Officer, Public Health, Calderdale Council.

November 2015.