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Early years practitioners share good practice

27 January 2017 | Tags: early years education, childcare

A tailored curriculum and a skilled and self-reflective workforce are key to good practice in early years settings, reveals a new report published today by NatCen Social Research.

The report from the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) brings together the experiences of early years practitioners, who identified these three main themes as essential to good practice in early education settings:

  • Tailoring the curriculum to the needs of the children, including using assessment data to identify and support the needs of individual children.
  • A culture of self-evaluation and an environment that encourages providers to reflect on their own practice and that of their colleagues.
  • A skilled workforce - settings with good practice worked hard to recruit and retain high quality staff and prioritised ongoing support for their staff’s development.

This report was based on evidence from case studies of settings across England which included interviews with managers and staff at early years settings of different types, with parents using those settings and with local authority staff in those areas.

Dr Svetlana Speight, Research Director at NatCen Social Research, said:

“The SEED study follows around 6,000 children from when they were aged two through to their early years at school. Exploring whether attending good quality early years provision has a positive impact on these children’s outcomes is one of the main aims of this study and will be the focus of future reports from SEED. Meanwhile, the report we are publishing today aims to provide an in-depth understanding of how early years providers achieve good practice in their work”.

There will be more reports from the Study of Early Education and Development published over the next few years, with the final report in 2020.


The report ‘Study of Early Education and Development: Good Practice in Early Education’ is available to download from the Department for Education's website.

Three other reports from SEED have been published today:

They are available here:

For more information contact Sophie Brown: 020 7549 9550 or 07734 960 069

Notes to Editors

The Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) is a major longitudinal study which will follow around 6,000 two-year-olds from across England through to the end of KS1 (age 7). The study is being carried out by NatCen Social Research, working with the University of Oxford, Action for Children and Frontier Economics, on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE).

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