Nursery ‘toddler targets’ facing the axe?

Government plans to review controversial guidance set for nurseries by Labour

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The 69 targets set for our under-5s by Labour in 2008 have been put under review by the new government. The Early Years Foundations Stage framework, or so-called ‘nappy curriculum’, has been criticised for creating a “bureaucratic nightmare” by Schools Minister Nick Gibb, reports the Telegraph. Experts also say it puts too much pressure on young children and undermines their time to play.

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“The curriculum does not stretch higher achievers and restricts parental choice as to how they educate their children,” said David Lyscom, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council.

The targets included writing their own name, using a pencil effectively and reading familiar words. Many professionals have complained that these “tick-boxes” prevent them from spending enough time with the children because there is so much paper work to keep up with.

The review will be conducted by Action for Children’s chief executive, Dame Clare Tickell.

“It is important that professionals in the early years have the time to tackle the important issues,” Dame Clare said. “What is more important is helping children from poorer backgrounds and those with special needs as well as giving all children a fun and stimulating learning experience,” she added.

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How do you feel about education targets for toddlers? Too much too soon or a good way of ensuring their development gets the attention you think it needs?

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