In October 2023, the Labour Party announced a review of early years provision in England, chaired by former Ofsted chief inspector, Sir David Bell.

EPI has responded to the call for contributions to the review with our submission, based on our research and analyses.

Our response covers the following: 

  • Eligibility for, access to, and affordability of early education and childcare (ECEC) provision for children aged 0-4.
  • Ways to increase the quality of provision in early years, both inside and beyond the school system.
  • A long-term plan for the early years’ workforce.

We also recommend the following for consideration:

  • Funding should be simplified so it is easier for parents/carers to navigate. This could include a ‘free at the point of access’ model, as in later education.
  • Funding should be weighted much more heavily towards children from low-income families and children with SEND – to equalise access to quality early years services, no matter family background or location.
  • Aside from ECEC for individual children, the Family Hub model should continue to be rolled out: ensuring a family-focussed and integrated system of care, education and wider holistic support for young children and their parents/carers. This roll-out should be rigorously evaluated to ensure government continues to learn about what does and does not work.


You can read our submission in full here.