Child development could be hindered by current nursery assessments

Experts in child care have recently warned that the amount of assessment going on in nurseries is affecting the development of children.

Progress checks in nurseries are now becoming compulsory and checks are being made to make sure that children are aware of very basic words before they turn three.

They are also being assessed to make sure that they respond to sounds which should be familiar to them and they are being tested to make sure they can communicate well with their friends.

Recent attempts have been made in order to simplify the curriculum and these have been welcomed by childcare experts. These experts previously said, “The system is just too inflexible to cater to how different young people are.”

The National Audit Office have recently released a report which showed that the £2 billion a year plan, which was put into effect to give all children nursery care, has failed to make an impact on their academic performance in the first few years of school.

A literacy specialist, Sue Palmer, who also published a book called Toxic Childhood recently commented, “I am not at all surprised at the findings of the National Audit Office. It is clear that nursery provisions would not make any difference to a child’s development at this stage.

I don’t think that any change in the law right now would make any real difference unless it is a completely radical change. The government need to look at the process of child development in more detail and create a programme that really works.”

The government are going to cut the targets that children need to meet before they are five years old from nearly 70 targets to just below 20. Many people have welcomed this as they say the tick box culture that this programme fostered is not good for the development of children. However, many have said that the changes are not enough and the tick boxes are still there.

A lecturer for Roehampton University is Dr Richard House and he has commented, “The government need to look more carefully at their proposals and rethink the excessive assessment and monitoring that is taking place.

There is too much pressure on parents to prepare children for school and the system is not flexible enough to deal with the different needs of many children.” The government have stated that it is important that children have the academic ability to perform well when they start school.

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