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Research from a review of early years education, 02/02/06 [S]

Research commissioned by the Scottish Executive looking at early years education from an international perspective. The research took place during a time when education reform for children 3-18 was under way and revision of the existing curriculum guidance for children aged 3-5 was being considered.

The research looked at:

  • What kind of educational experiences are offered in early childhood and what evidence is there of the impact of early years education?
  • Is early years education a distinct phase in the education system?
  • How are decisions made about when children should have particular educational experiences?

  • There is international recognition for early years as a distinct phase of education for children from about three to six years of age.
  • There is widespread support for early years education as an intervention that can make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children.
  • There is evidence to suggest that early years education makes a difference to the cognitive and social/behavioural development of children and to some aspects of academic attainment and social behaviour in the first years of school.
  • Children would benefit from more attention being paid to the way in which they are introduced to early years educational settings.
  • Continuing the early years pedagogical approach into primary school would allow new curriculum content to be introduced in ways that are both familiar and developmentally appropriate.

For full details see the publication, Early Years Education: Perspectives From a Review of the International Literature, which is available on the Scottish Executive website.

Further information

Early Years Education: Perspectives From a Review of the International Literature