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Considered the first report of its kind, new findings from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study reveal that children from England often have higher memory and literacy skills by the time they reach Year 1. Other countries that took part included the United States and Estonia – both of which had lower scores compared to England. These findings align with the OECD’s stance on early childhood education, which is increasingly recognised to be especially important for a child’s educational development. Vicky Ford, the Children’s Minister for England, commented “our dedicated early years professionals are making sure children’s learning begins before they arrive at school. This report adds to the evidence about the important benefits of early education on a child’s development.” Ford goes on to explain that spending on this form of academic preparedness is set to increase within the next few years. “We are investing £3.6 billion in our early education entitlements in 2020-21 and encouraging parents to support their children’s learning at home before age five”. Her comments coincide with the Governments official campaign, entitled Hungry Little Minds. Designed to help parents with children as young as a few weeks old, its content is designed to keep children engaged and learning long before they reach primary school.

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