Over time, early years policies and frameworks emerge and change in response to current influences. There has been much more political focus on childcare and education in the last 15 years, resulting in a rapid expansion of early years provisions. Influences over the last 15 years have included two key factors: * A huge increase in the demand for childcare while parents work – This is mostly due to the fact that around 60 per cent of mothers now return to work outside of the home while their children are under the age of 5. This has been influenced by several factors. Gender equality has greatly improved in schools and in the workplace, resulting in increased academic achievement, career aspirations and expectations for women. The number of lone parents bringing up children and needing to work has increased as well as government policies being introduced to encourage people back into training or work to reduce the number of people on benefits. * Research- Because of on-going research into the impact of early years education and services, we now know more than ever before about how children’s experiences in the early years can impact on their future outcomes. We now understand that good-quality care and education in the early years has a positive effect on children throughout their whole lives, particularly within areas of learning and development. Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia is a town in the hills of northern Italy in which a programme of early childhood education was developed. The programme is named after the town. A group of parents originally founded the schools in 1945, after the Second World War because they didn’t want their children to attend the existing ones, run strictly by the church. This approach had taken over governing the schools in the area by the end of the 1970’s. This is largely credited to a man named Loris Malaguzzi, who believed this approach to education would help the region to start fresh and work towards a better future. The...
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