All posts by Jane Murray

PRESS RELEASE -19 October 2020 – Early years practitioners urged to have their say, as work begins on “Birth to 5 Matters” EYFS guidance

An online survey is being launched today by the Early Years Coalition (EYC)*, a group of sector representative bodies, to find out practitioners’ views and needs for guidance to support the revised EYFS. This is the first stage of a process to help shape a revision of the 2012 EYFS non-statutory guidance Development Matters in response to feedback that showed practitioners want to keep the best aspects of this highly valued guidance, while updating and improving it to reflect current challenges.  Over the next several months the Early Years Coalition will provide opportunities for comment on successive drafts of the new guidance, to be known as “Birth to 5 Matters – early years guidance by the sector, for the sector”.

“We will be working with the sector to build on existing guidance and develop an evidence-informed document for our times, reflecting key concerns raised by the pandemic and longer-standing debates around how to create strong foundations for children from birth to 5.  It will address practitioners’ needs and concerns about doing what is best for children,” said Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive of Early Education who is chairing the Early Years Coalition (EYC). “The process of developing the guidance will give practitioners opportunities for active involvement in producing guidance and resources that support practice, that reflect their pedagogic principles and that bring together research and practice knowledge.”

Birth to 5 Matters is a collaborative project by the coalition’s 15 major early years sector organisations. The EYC has appointed two members of staff to coordinate the project and ensure wide participation from across the sector, gathering input from a range of expert working groups and from public opportunities to respond to drafts as the guidance develops. Nancy Stewart, Project Lead, and Sharon Colilles, Project Assistant, will be advised and supported by the EYC Steering Group.

“We know from the EYC’s earlier survey of over 3000 practitioners that the current Development Matters is a much-valued resource.  The goal is to maintain what is best and change only what updated evidence shows will improve the guidance,” said Nancy Stewart.  “There will also be expanded guidance in central aspects of practice, with priorities likely to include children’s wellbeing and key skills and knowledge for every child growing up in the 21st century such as digital literacy, sustainability and citizenship.  There will be a downloadable document that will minimise workload by looking familiar to practitioners, and we are also planning an interactive online version that will be backed up with additional resources to support practitioners as they want to go more deeply into an area of practice.”

Each organisation in the coalition will be contacting its members to invite them to take part in the first online survey for Birth to 5 Matters via an organisation-specific link.  Practitioners who are not members of EYC organisations are also encouraged to take part in the survey using the following link:

*The coalition members include:

  • British Early Childhood Education Research Association (BECERA)/Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)
  • Early Education
  • Early Childhood Forum (ECF)
  • Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN)
  • Early Years Alliance
  • Froebel Trust
  • Keeping Early Years Unique (KEYU)
  • LGBTQIA Early Years
  • Montessori St Nicholas
  • National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)
  • National Education Union
  • Sector Endorsed Foundation Degrees in the Early Years (SEFDEY)
  • Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship
  • TACTYC: The Association for Professional Development in the Early Years

#GiveUsAChancellor – Update from Celeste at NCB

Dear All

As you will all by now know, the Chancellor has cancelled this year’s budget. Instead, he announced on Twitter that he would announce a “Winter Economy Plan” to Parliament today. The centrepiece is expected to be a government subsidy of the wages of workers returning to work after being furloughed. The impact this will have on the Comprehensive Spending Review process is so far unclear.

Please be advised that we will be proceeding with our planned campaign today. Most of the content in the Google Drive is still appropriate and the main hashtags (#GiveUsAChancellor and #ChidrenAtTheHeart) are still highly relevant. The main focal point will now become the statement to Parliament. Please:

  • Concentrate social media activity in the lead up to the statement in Parliament (expected around midday)
  • Post your reaction to the statement on Twitter following the statement
  • Continue to tag @RishiSunak and @HMTreasury

An additional suggested tweet has been added to the sample social media content:

  • What about an economic plan for children and young people @RishiSunak? Protect jobs. Protect children and young people too
    #GiveUsACHANCEllor #ChildrenAtTheHeart @HMTreasury

Best wishes




Letter from the NCB:

#GiveUsAChancellor – Giving children and young people a voice in the ‘Comprehensive Spending Review’

TACTYC are supporting this important initiative and hope you will get involved – thank you!

Dear Colleague

Thank you for the amazing support for #GiveUsAChancellor so far. It is fantastic that we are able to come together as a sector to promote children, young people and parent voices.

So far, children and young people signing the letter have asked for money to be allocated to mental health and wellbeing support, supporting society’s most vulnerable children, and tackling child poverty.

It’s not too late to get involved to make sure we reach as many children, young people and parents as possible so they can have their say on what the Government should be spending money on. You can support the young people leading this campaign by:

  • Sharing the letter with children, young people and parents of very young children either directly or through the organisations that work with them. This can be done through newsletters, online forums, and young people-facing social media accounts such as Instagram. The resource pack includes example copy, a video, graphics, a template letter to MPs, and key information for organisations.
  • Signing your organisation up as a ‘supporter of the campaign’ – a list of supporting organisations will be submitted to the Treasury, alongside the letter. If you haven’t done so already, please email me by 22 September to confirm that your organisation would like to sign up.
  • Joining the conversation on social media on 24 September, calling on the Chancellor to listen to what children and young people have said. Where possible, organisations are encouraged to prepare quotes/videos/graphics that promote children, young people and parent voices on what they want Government to prioritise in the Spending Review and why they think Government should listen. We will circulate further information in due course.We ask that each organisation participating in this activity ensures they have suitable safeguarding practices and policies in place to ensure that children and parents feel protected and supported when participating.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Best wishes

Celeste Pergolizzi
Policy and Stakeholder Engagement Officer
National Children’s Bureau