We recognise the importance of the learning environment to a child’s development, and also the big difference that high quality pre-school education can make. Our early years policies are child-focussed and we would build a free but voluntary universal early education and childcare service run by local education authorities for all children from birth until compulsory school age, which we would raise to 7 years.
Early education would be provided by qualified teachers with specific early years training. We would increase early years funding to focus on young children and reduce the need for expensive interventions later in life.
Green Party policies mean that:
- As far as possible, decisions on spending and raising funds would be made at the local level to ensure that decisions are taken in a joined-up way across different services
- We recognise the benefit of consistent and familiar support staff for children, which we would promote by ensuring early years centres are small and operate at the local community level
- We would integrate early education and childcare service into the local education service, run by local education authorities, and building on existing infant schools and children's centres
- We would invest more in services for older children as well and provide a comprehensive and inclusive youth service, including youth clubs, youth councils and non-curricular education and training
- We strongly support empowerment and participatory decision-making
- We would work to improve support for looked-after children by providing more training and a salary for foster carers
- We would set clear targets for ending child poverty and would ensure local authorities are adequately funded to meet them.
Green Party schools spokesperson, Samantha Pancheri, says:
The Green Party hugely values the role of Sure Start centres in the lives of families, and will build on this to create a universal childcare and early education service, including children’s centres. That’s why we’re extremely proud to report that in Brighton, the Green-controlled council have been able to keep all the Sure Start centres open, with no loss of services, despite government cuts to the council’s budget.
increase early years funding to focus on young children.