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House of Commons Hansard
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Childcare Provision
10 September 2018
Volume 646
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15. What recent steps he has taken to help improve the quality of childcare provision. [906759]

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Latest Ofsted data confirm that 94% of providers were rated as good or outstanding, up 20 percentage points since 2012. We have recently published new criteria to raise the quality of level 2 qualifications and are investing £20 million in professional development for early years practitioners working in disadvantaged areas.

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Will the Minister join me in congratulating the Pen Green Centre in Corby on recently winning The Times Educational Supplement overall best school award? Has he given thought as to how best practice at that particular setting can be shared more widely?

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Maintained nursery schools make an important contribution to improving the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children. As I mentioned earlier, I have visited a number of these schools, as has the Secretary of State, and Pen Green is at the forefront of what maintained nursery schools do. Its award is well deserved and I offer it my warmest congratulations. Our research on the value offered by maintained nursery schools will inform spending review decisions about their future funding.

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Children from the poorest families in this country are much more likely to suffer a major brain injury by the age of five. Nobody quite knows the precise reasons why that is the case, but the statistic is replicated by the figure for children between the ages of 14 and 21 from poorer families. That is a major reason why many children fall out of the educational system and end up in prison. I urge the Minister to look at the new figures. Will he meet me and people from the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum to discuss what we can do to ensure that children, in particular from the poorest areas and the poorest families, get a better chance in life?

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The hon. Gentleman makes a very important point. I know that he does not come to the House without looking at the figures properly, and I would be very happy to meet him to look at them with him.