Nick Hudson, Ofsted's National Director for Early Years.
“This year’s Early Years Annual report has got three main themes. The first one is, is early education getting better across England? Secondly, is early education providing the standard and quality of education that parents want for their children? And thirdly, is early education preparing young children well for the next stage of their education as they move on to primary school?
“Parents will see from the annual report that early education is stronger across England. There is a higher percentage of good and outstanding early years provision in all of its forms – be that childminders, private, voluntary or independent nurseries or maintained nurseries.
“In our report we explain how professionals understand well now that teaching is very much their responsibility in the early years, and that this should provide real confidence for parents about the quality of early education and childcare.
“One of the reasons why some children start school disadvantaged is because they’re not well prepared for primary school. The report makes the point very clearly that schools need to do more to work closely with early years providers in their locality so that all children from whatever background are well prepared as they start their statutory schooling.
“Over the past year we’ve worked proactively in partnership with the sector. Encouragingly we now see that over 80% of all early years provision is good or outstanding.”