The Prime Minister has made improving social mobility a focus for government but overlooks the crucial early years (0-5).

The Prime Minister has made improving social mobility a focus for government during her first months in office. There have been speeches, new policies and additional funding.

So far these have been focused on schooling and later life,  overlooking the early years (0-5) a period that is crucial to future outcomes, from being healthy and happy, to doing well in school and getting a good job.

What is the problem?

Too many children from poorer families are not reaching a good level of development when they reach primary school. 

One in two children from low income families fall behind their better off peers before they start primary school.

The gap has barely closed in the last four years.

What happens in the pre-school years sets the scene for how children will do at school – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Children who start at the bottom of the class in primary school are at risk of staying there throughout their school lives.

What is needed?

The Government should:

  • Publish a social mobility strategy setting a clear direction for government to improve social mobility across England
  • Set a goal for improving social mobility outcomes at different life stages
  • Retain a universal measure of child development at the end of the early years to monitor progress for the most disadvantaged children
  • Commit to funding and developing an effective package of parenting support to reduce inequalities in the home learning environment.

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