Uh oh, you are using an old web browser that we no longer support. Some of this website's features may not work correctly because of this. Learn about updating to a more modern browser here.

Skip To Content

Ofsted warning on children falling behind by age of four

1st June 2018

Save the Children's response to Ofsted's warning on children falling behind by the age of four.

We have experts in early years care available for interview. Please contact Dan Stewart on (0)20 3763 0119 or d.stewart@savethechildren.org.uk with any enquiries.

Kayte Lawton, Head of UK Policy at Save the Children said:

“Amanda Spielman is right to stress how vital it is to make sure our little ones get the care and support they need to be ready for school. The early years are the most important of a child’s life.

“It is shocking that poorer children are still almost twice as likely to have fallen behind by the time they start primary school and that nearly 200,000 five-year olds are already playing catch up. By the time they start school, some children will have heard millions fewer words than their peers. We know that children who start behind are likely to stay behind.

“Evidence shows that high-quality childcare plays a vital role in boosting children’s early development. Yet efforts to increase nursery quality appear to be in reverse. Great childcare led by graduate early years teachers has a big impact on young children’s development, but there is a nationwide shortage of qualified staff. At this rate Save the Children analysis shows it will be 17 years before there are enough qualified nursery teachers in the country.

“Unless the government urgently invests in quality early education and increasing the number of skilled early years teachers, we will continue to see generations of children falling behind in their pre-school years.”