What is the Early Years Strategy?
The Early Years Strategy is Wolverhampton’s response to supporting children and families alongside other professionals. Developed by a multi-agency working group which pulled expertise from health, education, early intervention and specialist services. The strategy is a 4-year outline which addresses identified issues arising across the city, and embeds an approach which will support positive outcomes for children and their families.
Why develop an Early Years Strategy?
A good level of development for 5 years old children is below the national average for Wolverhampton. There are a variety of factors which impact and contribute to children not achieving a good level of development, and not having a good start in life. Some of the factors are:
- Economic disadvantage.
- Emotional wellbeing in pregnancy and early years – this can affect secure attachments between a parent and their child which increased the number of referrals where mental health is a presenting issue.
- Lack of parental engagement – this includes parents not talking to their child in utero and not reading to their child on a daily basis.
The City of Wolverhampton Council feels that all children deserve the right to be given the same opportunities to be the best they can be.
The Early Years Strategy
The Early Years Strategy has been separated into 4 specific areas:
- Workforce Development
- Parental Engagement
- Good Maternal Health
- High Quality Early Education
The Strategy proposes a united approach which addresses all of the four areas across services within Wolverhampton; such as health, early years, schools and universities.
Within the four areas, there have been several factors identified for children:
- Language and Communication
- Supporting transitions
- Understanding cohorts of children, particularly those children around economic disadvantage
The strategy reinforces the need for parents to be their child’s first educator, supported through a whole family approach. Parents will have a clear understanding of what they can expect for their child from conception to the age of 5 in the terms of education, health and support within the Wolverhampton area.
The strategy also support Wolverhampton’s school readiness agenda.