Archive for the ‘Early Intervention’ Category

Early Years Intervention

mercredi, février 16th, 2011

Following on from the government-supported work of Labour MP Frank Field on the social mobility importance of the critical first years in the development of a child, a January 2011 government-commissioned report led again by a Labour MP (Graham Allen) recommends regular assessments of all pre-school children, focussing on their social and emotional development. In assessing how children from disadvantaged backgrounds could be given the best start in life, the report recommends early intervention to improve the lives of vulnerable children and help break the otherwise current cycle of dysfunction and under-achievement. Since success or failure in early childhood also has deep economic consequences in later life e.g. in terms of social welfare payments from the government and taxpayers when public funds are limited, more private money is called for to support early intervention schemes to help set up children on the right path in life.
A summary of this report by Katherine Sellgren, a BBC News education reporter, can be found at . In her summary she also notes that the report highlights the impact of poor parenting skills, American research that shows the early years are the greatest period of growth in the human brain and, again from the US, the successful US Family Nurse Partnership scheme which could serve as a potential model for vulnerable first-time mothers in the UK.
An independent, Early Intervention Foundation is recommended to drive early intervention forward, assess policies and attract investment. This should be led and funded by non-central government sources such as local authorities, ethical and philanthropic trusts, foundations and charities, as well as private investors some of whom have already expressed interest.
A second report from Mr Allen is expected before the summer parliamentary recess and with more details on how private sector money can fund proven early intervention schemes. Perhaps this will also be seen as an opportunity for the City of London bankers seeking to reduce the level of public opprobrium attached to their perceived excessive salaries and bonuses, to support such a worthy cause (see Categories/Chairman?s Blog/Bonuses & Competition in the right hand index column), taking again as an example the US, whose citizens once they have prospered are not only expected to, but also do, put money back into good works in the community.