Importance of Early Years Education

The Foundation of Life

The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become. That is why understanding the need to invest in very young children is so important, ensuring we can maximise their future well-being.

As of 2004, the availability of free, part-time preschool education in the UK for 3-4 year olds was put into law. Today more than 94% of those children attend preschool to some degree. But what about young children in hospital? All children, whether healthy or ill, should have access to equal educational opportunities.

Pre-school education in hospital has multiple objectives and is of such considerable importance, since it can assist in the mental well-being of young patients. Significantly it helps children maintain their self-esteem and builds their confidence, helping them to feel that they have more control of the difficult situation in which they find themselves. It also facilitates communication amongst children and gives them the opportunity to explore, express and process their healthcare experiences in a safe, non-threatening environment.


Optimising the early years of children’s lives is the best investment we can make as a society to ensure their future success.

As a society, we cannot afford to postpone investing in children until they become adults, nor can we wait until they reach school age. The best evidence supports the policy prescription: invest in the very young and improve basic learning and socialisation skills.

James J. Heckman

Nobel Prize winning American economist

We are committed to making sure this is a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.
Education lies at the heart of this ambition and the Early Years are crucial to giving every child the best start in life.

Justine Greening

Former Secretary for State of Education

“Our children and young people are our future and only by caring for them in the best possible way will we give them the healthiest start to life that they need and deserve

Michelle McLoughlin

Chief Nurse, Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Chair

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