Review to reassess need for toddler targets

By staff

A review expected to roll back New Labour’s educational targets for children under five has been launched.

Children’s minister Sarah Teather announced Action for Children chief executive Dame Clare Tickell had been asked to conduct a review of the early years foundation stage (EYFS).

The coalition government views the existing framework as being too rigid, meaning many workers spend more time ticking boxes and less time with children.

It has tasked Dame Clare with assessing the scope of regulation, the extent to which assessment is required and the minimum welfare standards needed to keep children safe.

“Through this review we want to hear about what is and isn’t working well in the EYFS,” Ms Teather said.

“We also need to create a fairer and more flexible childcare market that is responsive to parents and the rising numbers of children in childcare settings.”

Dame Clare indicated her willingness to participate with the coalition’s agenda by stating “it is important that professionals in the early years have the time to tackle the important issues”, including helping children from poorer backgrounds and those with special needs.

Her final report will be published in spring 2011, with proposed changes being introduced from September 2012.