Dingley’s Promise has become a sponsor of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Childcare and the Early Education in order to ensure that the national conversation about the value of the early years sector includes the voice of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families. In the wake of the pandemic, the vital importance of the early years has never been more clear. In recent months calls have increased for greater investment in the earliest years, and just last month the Government launched their new early years review, led by The Rt. Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP. ‘ The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days‘ outlines the importance of giving every child the best start in life to minimise inequalities, and is in line with increasing calls for greater focus on the earliest years.
The charity runs specialist early years settings in Berkshire and a national training and consultancy programme, focused on transforming the early years for children with SEND. As a member of the Disabled Children’s Partnership and a delivery partner in the Department for Education-funded Early Years SEND Partnership, Dingley’s Promise has been increasingly involved in bringing about change. The charity has worked to raise awareness among MPs of the need for excellent early interventions for children with SEND, therefore when given the opportunity to join the APPG it was a logical next step.
The APPG on Childcare and the Early Education is Chaired by the Member of Parliament for Winchester, Steve Brine MP, who is passionate about the early years agenda in particular child development in the first 1001 days and the quality of the settings in which they receive early education. The group’s other sponsors include The Early Years Alliance, the National Day Nurseries Association, the Montessori Group, CACHE, The Foundations Stage Forum and Tops Day Nurseries.
Chief Executive of Dingley’s Promise Catherine McLeod MBE said: ‘We are thrilled to have been accepted so warmly by Steve and welcomed by the other sponsors, reflecting the recognition that an early years conversation cannot be complete without consideration of how to be inclusive of children with SEND. We are committed to raising awareness nationally and among parliamentarians of the lack of sufficient early years provision for children with SEND throughout the country, and we hope to see real progress on this in the coming year.’
The first APPG meeting of this financial year will be held virtually on 27th April on the topic of ‘Parent Perspectives on Early Education’, with the Chair presenting the results of the survey carried out in Childcare and Early Education week. Practitioners and families are invited to attend the session and should contact Connect PA, the APPG’s Secretariat, [email protected] to secure their place.