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Early Years Education

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has researched extensively into the productivity of the health service and have considered the importance of education and skills in determining productivity and wages.

Within the MOPSU project, NIESR will be exploring quality and outcomes of early years education.

The early years work-strand utilises the Millennium Cohort Study data, and other data, such as Foundation Stage Profile assessments, linked to the children in the study, to explore the impact early years services have on these children.

While there are a range of possible outcomes that result from a child’s attendance at early years services, including outcomes for parents such as gaining employment, the focus of this project is limited to the impact on the children themselves and to outcomes that occur in a relative short period of time. This includes a range of outcomes covering cognitive, social and physical development.

The analysis will include:

  • a comparison of established measures of early years child outcomes with the Foundation Stage Profile

  • a comparison of established measures of the quality of early years settings with Ofsted quality ratings

  • investigation of the relationship between quality of early years settings and outcomes for children attending these settings

The aim of this study is to identify differences in outcomes by characteristics of children and the setting they attend. The value of different services for different children can then be identified, which will inform the government drive for value for money in public services.

This section contains reports from NIESR that have been produced as part of the MOPSU project. Overviews of the reports are provided below.

Value for money comparison of public and third sector provision of pre-school childcare and education: Scoping study and proposal for stage 2 work (revised June 2007) (145.8 Kb Pdf)

This paper builds upon previous work and draws upon discussions with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), local authorities and relevant academics. The paper reviews available data sources and presents a way of carrying out the required analysis for the early years education work-strand of the MOPSU project.

Value for money comparison of public and voluntary sector provision of pre-school childcare and education: Literature review (revised November 2007) (279.1 Kb Pdf)

This paper sets out a way forward for analysis of quality and outcomes of early years education. The paper begins with a discussion of entitlement for and funding of early years education and goes on to present data on provision together with details of changes over time. The role of the third sector in delivering early years provision is considered. The paper then discusses the role and impact of early years education, highlighting gains for children and parents as well as other benefits from provision. The paper covers the available evidence for cost-benefit studies and finishes by focusing on the assessment of the quality of provision.

Final report (1.07 Mb Pdf)
Annexes (295 Kb Pdf)

This report considers the relationship between the quality of early years education and outcomes that may arise from attendance at early years education. It also briefly considers data on the costs of providing early years education. Our aim is to measure what changes or benefits are provided by early years education services and more specifically what differences these services make to those attending.

Context report (295 Kb Pdf)

This report presents the analysis of the key informant interviews, for the early years education work-strand of the MOPSU project, with an overall remit of considering what are the implications of the findings for the quantitative analysis of the project, particularly in relation to measuring quality and value for money. The report starts with considering the existing debates that have surrounded both quality and economics in early years education.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.