Dr Catherine Davies co-authors study into early childhood education and care

Research carried out by Dr Catherine Davies, in collaboration with researchers from University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, has led to findings and policy recommendations for early years care.

Part of a nationally-funded project on Social Distancing and Development, the study found that children who attended childcare outside the home throughout the first UK lockdown made greater gains in language and thinking skills, particularly if they were from less advantaged backgrounds. The results provided evidence for policymakers planning for further lockdowns and disruptions to early education and care.

The research has led to several policy recommendations. Dr Catherine Davies recognises the importance of investment:

Government investment in sustainable, high-quality early years education and care is crucial so all families can access this support.

The paper, “Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) during COVID-19 boosts growth in language and executive function”, is published in Infant and Child Development.

Image credit: Marisa Howenstine on Unsplash.