Merton Council welcomes a report published today by Save the Children which lists Merton as a top 20 borough for childcare with an Early Years Teacher or equivalent working directly with children aged under five.
The report by Save the Children is called Untapped Potential, How England’s Nursery Lottery is Failing Too Many Children.
It outlines the disparity between local authorities across the country in the number of children attending Private, Voluntary and Independent childcare provision with Early Years Teachers educated to degree level or equivalent.
According to this report, Merton has 62 per cent of its children aged under five in settings such as nurseries or preschools with an Early Years Teacher or equivalent working directly with children.
Studies have shown that this greater presence of staff with relevant degree-level or equivalent qualifications benefits the early learning and development of children, particularly those growing up in poverty.
This report estimates that a child who attends a nursery without a highly qualified member of staff at age three is 9% less likely to reach a good level of development, compared with a child who attends a nursery with a highly qualified member of staff.
Merton Council provides support to Private, Voluntary and Independent childcare providers. There are a range of settings with qualified staff in the borough which provide high quality early education and childcare to help our children have a greater chance of gaining the best start to their education and being ready for school.
In Merton we are committed to giving children the best start in life and we have also just completed an £80million primary school expansion programme to make sure there will be enough places for our under-fives when they move on to start school.
Cabinet member for Children’s Services, Councillor Katy Neep, said: “We are pleased to be recognised in this Save the Children report as being in the top 20 per cent of local authorities in the country for childcare with an Early Years Teacher or equivalent working directly with children aged under five.
“A good education from the early years onwards is proven to deliver positive life chances and as the report shows, here in Merton we are committed to giving all children the best start in life.”
Notes to editors
Read the full report on the Save the Children website