Compromised conditions for early years

14th December 2007 at 00:00
With reference to the Open Eye campaign (TES, November 30), the early years foundation stage offers much of relevance and value to early years practitioners if they can interpret and deliver it appropriately, which depends on a wealth of knowledge, experience, training, empathy with children and lack of external pressure.

But these conditions are not always met. Many, particularly those working with under-threes, are young, under-educated, under-trained and underpaid. Unless supervised by a good manager, they often cannot use the statutory document for the benefits of their young charges. For this reason alone, it might have been more appropriate to have had "environmental conditions" up and above statutory standards.

If environmental conditions were statutory so children had access to appropriate resources, had windows to look out of and natural outdoor areas to play in, we could give children more of what they are entitled to. "Enjoy and achieve" is something our children will never have the opportunity to do unless we get our act together. In some cases, exactly the opposite applies.

Marie-Louise Charlton, Quality and inclusion manager, Sure Start, St Helens.

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