Did you see the report Early Intervention: Next Steps, published today by Graham Allen MP..."Socially and emotionally capable people are more productive, better educated, tax-paying citizens helping our nation to compete in the global economy, and make fewer demands on public expenditure” Graham Allen MP and report author
The report examines the impact of the current programme of assessments for pre-school children. The rationale is simple: many of the costly and damaging social problems in society are created because we are not giving children the right type of support in their earliest years, when they should achieve their most rapid development. If we do not provide that help early enough, then it is often too late. The report looks at brain development in the first years of life, and suggests why these years may be so predictive of future outcomes. A key finding is that babies are born with 25 per cent of their brains developed, and there is then a rapid period of development so that by the age of 3 their brains are 80 per cent developed. In that period, neglect, the wrong type of parenting and other adverse experiences can have a profound effect on how children are emotionally ‘wired’. This will deeply influence their future responses to events and their ability to empathise with other people. This is not to say that development stops at age 3 – far from it; but the research indicates that we need to intervene early to make sure that our children get the best possible start in life. You can download the report at the DfE website.