Early years providers are to develop closer working with primary schools in in North Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire with an initiative developed by Pacey (the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years). Four primary schools will work with local nurseries and childminders to support parents to get children “school-ready” by the time they start reception in September.
Support will include toys and resources, face-to-face meetings and a secure online forum that will allow parents and professionals to share information about a child’s progress.
The Starting School Together project aims to help a total of 100 children and will focus support on those from disadvantaged areas, as research suggests a higher proportion of reception pupils from deprived communities start school developmentally behind their peers, hindering their ability to learn.
Liz Bayram, chief executive of Pacey, said the initiative also aims to overcome some of the professional barriers that exist between the early years sector and schools.
“Sometimes it is very hard to manage the transition with schools,” she said. “They can speak a different language about what school-ready means. We have developed a shared understanding of school-ready, which is children that are confident, happy and ready to learn.”
Their definition of school-ready is based on “broad child development” markers rather than academic abilities.