With the Sutton Trust publishing its latest social mobility index, Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland has called for greater support for children during their early years education, aged up to five years old.
The early years measure used is the percentage of children aged up to five known to be eligible for Free School Meals, and who are achieving a 'good' level of development in their assessments. Over two million young people in the UK live with the daily reality of economic hardship.
Commenting, Greg Mulholland MP said: "When it comes to how well our children do later in life, the evidence shows that a key factor is how they do in their early years, aged between 0 and 5. The figures from the Sutton Trust show that young children from disadvantaged backgrounds are not doing as well as they could. Clearly they need more support, and I hope councils will look at what more can be done."
A child's life chances are still heavily determined at birth. Disadvantaged children start lagging behind their better off peers before they even start school. Sutton Trust research has highlighted some of the main causes of this attainment gap, including the long term impacts of developing secure attachments between the child and parent, along with parenting style and the home environment.
The early years interventions work with disadvantaged parents and their children aged 0 to 5 with the goal of closing the gap in school readiness for these disadvantaged children.
More information can be found with OXPIP – who help parents and their babies form crucial strong and loving attachments.
Alongside commissioning research the Sutton Trust has two streams of work in this area; a Parental Engagement Fund to develop best practice for disadvantaged children through engaging their parents in their learning, and an initiative with Impetus-PEF to support capacity building at early years settings.
Greg Mulholland has been MP for Leeds North West since 2005.