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Early years

NGA's position statement on early years

school-environment group of pupils out on a trip

NGA supports high quality early education provision but does not have a preference for what setting (private, voluntary, nursery school or nursery class) provides this. When we say early education, we mean age-appropriate learning through play.

NGA welcomes the government’s commitment to increase the amount of free hours of child care available to parents, but is concerned that the funding provided does not cover the actual cost of provision. For provision to be sustainable and high quality the funding must be adequate.

Any decision about whether to provide or expand school based early years provision must be for the governing board to determine.

We are concerned at the closure of many maintained nursery schools as these often provide amongst the best quality early years provision. We understand that the legal requirements on staffing maintained nurseries can make them more expensive than other settings, but rather than closure we would urge local authorities and governing boards to explore the possibility of federating nurseries together or with neighbouring primary schools. Where it is deemed appropriate, we would support schools in collaborating with high quality settings such as those in maintained nurseries in order to maintain the provision.

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