This is what effective preschool looks like

In Britain, a longitudinal study – known as EPPE – has been following a cohort of children for 16 years, watching for the impact of quality preschool education. This is what they say high quality preschool education looks like:

“The findings show that good outcomes for children are linked to early years settings that:

  • View cognitive and social development of children as complementary and do not prioritise one over the other.
  • Have strong leadership and long-serving staff (three years plus, this was even the case in the private daycare settings where the turnover of staff is normally the highest).
  • Provide a strong educational focus with trained teachers working alongside and supporting less qualified staff.
  • Provide children with a mixture of practitioner initiated group work and learning through freely chosen play.
  • Provide adult-child interactions that involve ‘sustained shared thinking’ and open-ended questioning to extend children’s thinking.
  • Have practitioners with good curriculum knowledge combined with knowledge and understanding of how young children learn.
  • Have strong parental involvement, especially in terms of shared educational aims with parents.
  • Provide formative feedback to children during activities and provide regular reporting and discussion with parents about their child’s progress.
  • Ensure behaviour policies in which staff support children in rationalising and talking through their conflicts
  • Provide differentiated learning opportunities that meet the needs of particular individuals and groups of children e.g. bilingual, special needs, girls/boys etc.”

Follow up on EPPE publications here.

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