Big futures: why we need a teacher in every nursery

An early years teacher with a child
Three-year-old Serena with her teacher Ayasha.

Our little ones deserve big futures.

But our research shows that unless the government takes action 800,000 children in England are at risk of falling behind in their learning at age five by 2020.

One in five of these children won’t catch up before they finish primary school.

Early years teachers can make all the difference – they’re experts at improving learning in nurseries. But 40% of independently run nurseries aren’t able to employ a single teacher.

How many nurseries in your area have an early years teacher?

Find out now

Why invest in nurseries?

Children in England whose nursery has an early years teacher are almost 10% more likely to meet the expected standards when they reach five.

That’s because early years teachers are trained in how to raise standards in nurseries and help children who are struggling.

Nurseries that are based in schools already hire people with these specialist skills. But many private, voluntary and independent nurseries can’t afford to.

Right now, more than a quarter of a million children don’t have access to this important support.

What can the government do?

We know things can’t be improved overnight.

But if the government wants to achieve its ambition of radically improving children’s life chances, it must start by investing in nursery education and the early years workforce.

That’s why we’re calling for an early years teacher in every nursery in England – focusing first on the poorest areas that need this support the most.

Do children in your area get the support they need?

Find out now

Every child deserves the chance of a big future – let's make sure they get it.


Updated: February 2017.