Those places for disadvantaged two-year-olds – 40% of the overall population – are there to help narrow those variations. It’s easy to see how this works.
For two-year-olds, nursery is a vibrant new world with truly exciting possibilities at a time when the world is opening up to them.
It is all about free play – sand and water, dressing up, painting and making things, just getting stuck in and getting messy.
Socialising with other children, making friends, learning to share and developing communication skills are all key to the experience.
Nursery professionals know how to nurture interests, encourage exploration and introduce new ways of thinking and doing.
They make sure children are outdoors and active as much as possible – counteracting the upward trend in childhood obesity is another story – as well as listening to stories and singing songs.
I’m proud to say that the quality of early years education in nurseries is extremely high, with 90% holding a good or outstanding judgement from Ofsted, a higher percentage than for schools and further education.