Fragile consensus on early learning

22nd May 1998 at 01:00
A new framework for early childhood education, launched this week, emphasises the way in which young children learn as the key issue, rather than specific targets for literacy and numeracy in developing a suitable curriculum.

Early-years organisations came together to produce the document, Quality in Diversity in Early Learning.

It aims for a "shared language" for all early-years practitioners, to consolidate the strengths of diverse approaches and extend understanding of learning. It encourages collaboration with parents and between practitioners.

The document, produced by the Early Childhood Education Forum, an umbrella group, represents a triumph of diplomacy in bringing together a broad coalition of organisations including the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

But it has not been endorsed by the National Campaign for Nursery Education which has declined to sign up because it believes that quality depends on trained teachers and nursery nurses. "We are not campaigning for quality in diversity. We are campaigning for a particular type of provision", said Margaret Edgington, vice-chair of NCNE.

The framework is based on five "foundations for early learning". These are: belonging and connecting; being and becoming; contributing and participating; being active and expressing; and thinking, imagining and understanding Quality in Diversity is available from The National Children's Bureau, pound;9.95 for members and pound;14.95 for non-members, plus pound;3 pamp;p, 8 Wakley St, London EC1V 7QE.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today