‘Every nursery in England should have a qualified early years teacher to help toddlers develop skills like speech and language, a children's charity says.
Save the Children says pre-schoolers can be "set back decades" if their brains are not adequately stimulated before they start formal schooling.
It says early years teachers can assist children and parents with learning.
Ministers say they are making major investments in the sector, working with the profession to improve its status.
To become an early years teacher, candidates need a degree and at least a GCSE C grade in English, maths and science. They have to pass professional tests in numeracy and literacy and complete a period of initial teacher training.’ - BBC News
‘In its scientific briefing report Lighting up Young Brains, Save the Children says that neuroscience shows how early language skills are intertwined with children’s brain development, with the period from age three to five being crucial.
It warned that failure to develop adequate language skills can leave children struggling to learn in the classroom and unable to catch up with their peers.
Government figures show that last year around 130,000 children – equivalent to six children in every reception class in England – had lower than expected language development at the end of reception.
Now the charity has teamed up with leading scientists and psychologists to emphasise the importance of learning in pre-school years as a "golden opportunity" for the brain to develop key skills.
The academics, including Dr Tanya Byron, are urging government action on the issue of nursery quality being overlooked in policy making.’ - TES
‘Separate figures show that around one in five children – or one in three of those from the poorest families – cannot read well by the time that they finish primary school.
That suggests that many of those who start school behind their peers stay behind, despite the interventions in schools.
Prof Torsten Baldeweg, a neuroscientist at University College London’s Institute of Child health, who is among those backing the campaign, said: “Why is it important to stimulate children before they go to school?
“It is precisely this period where we have explosive brain growth, where most of the connections in the brain are formed.
“We need input to maintain them for the rest of our lives and we know that if these connections are not formed they, to variable degrees, will suffer longer term consequences to their physical, cognitive but also emotional development.” ' - Telegraph
‘Parents, though, do not recognise the importance of learning in the early years, Save the Children added. Its polling showed that 61 per cent of parents - and 68 per cent of fathers - felt that school was the most important period in a child's learning. In addition, 56 per cent of parents - and 65 per cent of fathers - felt they had not been given enough help and advice to understand the importance of their child's early learning.
A combination of talking, word games and singing can help play-time become brain-time, Save the Children added. Without enough support from home or in the nursery, children can fall behind.
Gareth Jenkins, director of UK Poverty for save the Children, said: "Toddlers' brains are like sponges, absorbing knowledge and making new connections faster than any other time in life.
"We've got to challenge the misconception that learning can wait for school as, if a child starts their first day at school behind, they tend to stay behind." ' - Independent