Researcher to warn against children’s centre cuts

Kathy will be highlighting the importance of Early Years services in a special lecture at 7pm on Tuesday 1 February on the University of Reading’s Whiteknights Campus. The talk has been organised by the University’s Institute of Education which over the last four years has pioneered the training of graduate Early Years Professionals. 

Evidence is starting to show that children’s centres are having an impact on poverty and underachievement.  In a climate of cuts, many parents and practitioners, fear that some will be closed or pared to the bone.

Kathy Sylva, who is Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University, provided the original research which showed that investment in a child’s early years has a beneficial impact on their later success at school.

She said: “It’s a time of uncertainty for all those involved in Early Years work so this talk will be of great interest to early years practitioners and teachers, as well as parents with young children. Although the government is committed to protection of funding for young children and families, many local authorities are busy cutting expenditure for Early Years services such as children’s centres.

“We need to demonstrate to the public and to local officials how good quality, centre-based early education and care make a difference to children’s life chances. This is one area of the budget that should not be cut because much evidence shows that early intervention really works!”

The University of Reading’s Institute of Education has trained 100’s of graduates to become leaders and ‘change agents’ in nurseries and children’s centres across Berkshire and beyond. These lead practitioners ensure that the settings in which they work meet the highest possible standards of education and care.

The University of Reading is currently undertaking a major refurbishment of its London Road campus, the original home of the University in the heart of Reading.

The £30 million investment in the University’s academic infrastructure will create a new London Road home for the University’s Institute of Education, which trains nearly 1000 teachers every year. The Institute will move to London Road in Summer 2011.

Kathy’s  lecture takes place at the Agriculture Building on the Whiteknights Campus at 7.00pm on Tuesday 1st February. Admission is free but you need to book a place. Contact Val Jones via [email protected] or 0118 378 8650


Further press information from James Barr, University of Reading press office, 0118 378 7115, [email protected]