Early Years

Getting the foundations right at Early Years level

The Strategic Lead for the Early Years strand is Sally Pearse. Sally was previously the Head of Early Years Education (0-5) at Sheffield Hallam University and prior to that ran an ‘Outstanding’ community nursery and family project in Sheffield.

Almost all children experience some combination of early education before they start school. Children’s experiences in their first few years of life have a major impact on their development. The Early Years strand aims to address a number of social policy objectives, including:

• Improving developmental and educational outcomes for all children; and

• Tackling disadvantage by addressing the attainment gaps already apparent between children of different backgrounds by the time they start school by improving access to quality early years provision.

Early Years strand priorities:

  • Delivering the £1 million Early Outcomes project in partnership with the Local Authorities in the region to improve local systems involved in delivering Speech, Language and Communication Needs assessments and interventions in order to improve outcomes for children across our region
  • Developing an Early Excellence Hub in Sheffield to support improvements in early years practice providing a leadership and knowledge exchange resource for public, private and third sector early years’ providers in the region
  • Continuing to lead a regional working group on early years drawn from across the Local Authorities and reflecting the diverse sector
  • A regional vision for early years that reflects the rights of the child, a commitment to parent partnership and the crucial role of the early years workforce
  • A review of the current capability and capacity of the early years workforce to identify appropriate programmes and structures to support improvement
  • A South Yorkshire ‘school readiness’ statement based on a holistic view of the attributes, experiences, relationships and skills young children need to prepare them to be successful lifelong learners
  • Identifying CPD priorities and working in partnership to develop effective programmes.

How to get involved

If you are interested in finding out more about this strand, or want to get involved in some of our projects please email us: southyorkshirefutures@shu.ac.uk