Capturing the Power of Play

A child’s early education is crucial for later success, but what does that mean? Maureen Hunt shows how play-based learning strategies are developmentally important and transition to formal education should be more gradual.
Children playing

The early years sector is complex and varied and often misunderstood as a result. Unlike other education sectors, the EYFS is delivered in place in a variety of settings including schools, village halls, nurseries, children’s centres and even childminders’ own homes. It suffers from an identity crisis, as many people are unclear about its purpose—education or childcare? If a child attends a day nursery, is that childcare? or if they go to a school-based setting, is that education? This confusion is further compounded by the different levels of qualifications—maybe it’s only qualified teachers that offer education?  And of course, there is also the deeply rooted perception that children under 5 are ‘just playing.’

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