Press Releases

University holds lecture on early years education – University of Reading

Release Date : 04 November 2009

Professor Kathy Sylva

On Tues 20th October, Professor Kathy Sylva visited the University of Reading's Institute of Education to present a research based lecture on early years education.

Professor Sylva, a leading researcher on this subject from Oxford University, described her findings to an interested audience. She highlighted how children who attend high quality early years settings, go on to achieve more highly in literacy and mathematics, with the effects lasting to the end of their primary years.

Kathy recently spearheaded the largest ever investigation into the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) in the UK, looking in particular at the impact it has upon on a child's development.

One of the key determinants of quality in these settings is the qualifications of staff. Kathy's research showed that these gains are statistically more likely in settings which employ higher qualified staff. EPPE research underpinned the massive investment in the early years carried out by the Labour governments and the introduction of new training routes.

Professor Andy Goodwyn, Director of the University's Institute of Education said: " We were delighted to welcome Professor Sylva to our campus. As one of the first providers of training in the new Early Years Professional (EYP) status, her research and thoughts were of huge interest to both the University and the public."

EYPS popularity has mushroomed as the value of 'graduate leaders' has become more widely recognised. There are now over 70 University of Reading EYPS in local nurseries, pre-schools and children's centres, with a further 80 due to complete their programme next year.

For more information about the University's EYPS please contact Angela Mason, EYPS administrator, tel. 0118 378 5810 or email


For all University of Reading media enquiries please contact James Barr, Press Officer tel. 0118 378 7115 or email

Notes for Editors:

EYPS is the Government's response to the national consultation on the future of the children's workforce. It identified the benefits of developing the role of the Early Years Professional and confirmed the Government's aim to have EYPs in all children's centres by 2010 and in all full day care settings by 2015.

The University of Reading's Institute of Education runs a number of different pathways for EYPS, for staff with differing needs and experiences. Training is free to students; settings receive supply cover and many settings are also eligible for further LA Graduate Leader Fund support, linked to achievement of the award. The next cohort starts in September 2009

The Early Years Foundation Strategy sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth until the end of the reception year of primary school. It builds upon, and replaces, the existing frameworks: Birth to Three Matters, the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, and the National Standards for Daycare and Childminding. The guidance and legal requirements in the EYFS will help to ensure that children receive a high quality experience regardless of the type of setting they attend.

All childcare providers, for children from birth to five, across maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors have to provide the EYFS. This includes day nurseries, childminders, playgroups, children's centres, pre-schools and maintained and independent schools.


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