Pre-school education will help youngsters achieve better exam results, new research has found.
The Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary (EPPSE) study discovered that kids will perform much better if they are introduced to learning before they start school. The improvement was the equivalent of getting seven Bs compared to seven Cs at GCSE level.
Moreover, they are projected to earn an additional £27,000 over the course of their career. The benefits of pre-school were particularly relevant to English and maths, and children from less advantaged backgrounds.
"Early education not only sets a child off on the right foot at school but, as this extensive research shows, has effects that last right into the workplace," said Sam Gyimah, education and childcare minister.
He added no children should be starting their primary education "behind their peers", as it puts them at an unfair advantage. People in teacher jobs will notice the difference if kids have not been given access to a pre-school education.
The EPPSE project has been running since 1997 and has seen 3,000 children followed from early age right through to 16. The long-form study has been designed to find out how education models can be improved.
Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University Kathy Sylva, who worked on the research, said the research is unique as it clearly demonstrates the value that can be placed on pre-school education.
"Early education pays off, and high quality pre-school education gives children the very best start in life. High quality early education has enduring benefits for the children who experience it and also the society that invests in it," she stated.
At present, the government funds 15 hours of early education every week for three and four-year-olds. As of last month, the provision for two-year-olds has been increased to include 40 per cent of kids from poorer families.
Posted by Harriet McGowan