Playing for time can be justified
In England, where the play-based stage ends at five, and formal learning will continue to begin in Year 1, many teachers are envious of Wales's plan.
Unfortunately, it is expensive to implement, and the old system has left Wales with too few well-trained early-years staff. It is a pity that the new play-based, unified phase will not reach more children as quickly as many experts would like. But education minister Jane Davidson is right to delay rolling it out to all schools until it can be done properly.