We want every child to get the best start in life, because we know that the early years are the foundation on which a person’s future life chances are built.
Unfortunately, inequality persists and a child’s health or education can vary wildly depending on their personal circumstances or individual needs. Even before they start school, disadvantaged children are often behind their better off peers. And by age eleven, the attainment gap between pupils receiving free school meals and those who don’t stands at 18% in reading, writing and mathematics.
For the last 40 years, we have worked directly with staff in children’s services and early years settings to develop practice and we support local authorities, health services, practitioners and all those working with young children to do a better job.
We have conducted important and pioneering research, such as our Poor Beginnings report which showed that simply by growing up in a deprived part of England a child under five is more likely to have poor health that will impact the rest of their lives. Read the report.
We have developed an award winning literacy program.
And we have pushed for innovation in the sector. Most notably as leading partner for the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP). A 10-year programme funded by the Big Lottery as part of their A Better Start initiative to improve the life chances of babies and young children living in the London borough of Lambeth.