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Pre-school Education: Communication Skills

Question for Department for Education

UIN 147069, tabled on 25 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2022 to Question125448, if he will set out how the £153 Early Years Recovery Package for professional development for early years practitioners will fund programmes on the key area of speech and language development for the youngest children.

Answered on

1 April 2022

The £153 million ‘Early Years Recovery Package’ includes a significant investment of up to £37.5 million in continuous professional development for early years practitioners, through the national expansion of the early years Professional Development Programme. The programme has a particular focus on upskilling practitioners to support the early development of literacy and language and early maths, alongside personal, social, and emotional development. The programme will be delivered during 2022 and 2023.

Strengthening understanding of speech and language development will also be covered in other elements of the programme. This includes delivery of online child development training, establishing a network of experts and mentors for settings in most need of support to improve their practice, driving evidence-based practice improvements through a new network of Stronger Practice Hubs, and increasing the number of qualified special educational needs coordinators in early years settings.

During summer 2022, there will be a review of the Level 3 early years educator qualification, with a view to publishing a set of revised and updated criteria. This will ensure a higher-quality qualification that responds to the sector’s needs for higher-quality training for early years educators.

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