Cambridgeshire’s Early Years and Childcare Service Outcomes Strategy
All children, including those living in Cambridgeshire, deserve the best start in life. With a high proportion of high-quality provision and a diverse and largely prosperous population, Cambridgeshire’s early years and childcare sector is a lead contributor to improving and supporting children’s life chances.
Sadly, this work is not always reflected in the outcomes for families experiencing disadvantage. As the statistics show, our proportion of disadvantaged children achieving national standards at the end of Reception is lower than our closest comparable authorities and well below the national average.
This strategy sets out how we intend to work with the sector to improve this situation. We recognise the importance of other services in tackling this problem, as well as the role of families and the wider community, and are committed to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s joint ‘Best Start in Life’ strategy as a key part of working in a more integrated way across organisations.
Equally, we will continue to seek approaches that are shown to benefit children’s learning and development within their homes, communities, and early years settings. Cambridgeshire’s early years children will be supported to be confident and resilient, with an aptitude for lifelong learning. They will grow up in communities where adults respect early childhood and understand the importance of play, early language, and keeping all children safe and healthy.
Underpinning all of this is the need for a confident, highly-trained workforce, and we will work with our settings and childminders to build the skills to deliver improvements. Through our Communication, Language, and Literacy pathway, we will enable practitioners to encourage children to be strong communicators and to develop their own aspirations and dreams. We will actively seek inspiring early years and childcare workforce, supporting practitioners through our qualification programme, whilst continuing to nurture practitioner development throughout their career.
Research shows that children’s outcomes at the end of their early years (Reception year) are critical to their later educational attainment and in adult life. We will aim to support every Cambridgeshire child and early years practitioner, and with your help, we will enable more children to reach their full potential through high-quality early years provision and timely support and intervention.