Early Childhood Forum

ECF - at the heart of Early Years from birth to 7 years
Inform ~ Advocate ~ Campaign



If you would like to find out how to become a member please go to our membership information page.

Contact us

If you would like to contact ECF please email your enquiry to: earlychildhoodforum@yahoo.co.uk


The Early Childhood Forum (ECF), brings together national organisations and professional associations in the early childhood sector for all young children from birth to seven. ECF exists to promote inclusion, challenge inequalities, debate issues, celebrate differences and develop consensus to champion high quality experiences for young children and their families.

News & Events

Austerity Cuts to Children's Centres

Research led by Prof. Pamela Sammons from Oxford University's Deprtment of Education clearly indicates that whilst disadvantaged families benefit most from their use of Children's Centres, austerity cuts to service will be doubly harmful.

The ECCE study looked at 2600 families attending 117 phase 1 and phase 2 childrens' centres over a six year period.

Funding Crisis for 30 hours Childcare

National Day Nurseries Association has just published a report on the Government's proposed 30 hours free childcare provision and how it will be funded. NDNA's chief executive Purnima Tanuku said, ‘The nursery sector is fully behind the principle of more support for parents. But serious funding shortfalls stand in the way of nurseries getting on board, despite their desire to help families with free childcare.

‘Private, voluntary and independent nurseries deliver most of the Government’s free places, currently 15 hours per week for all three and four-year-olds and some two-year-olds.

‘But the nursery sector is reluctant to commit to offering more free hours when they already make a significant annual loss – an average of £34,000 per nursery (or £1.68 per child per hour) – on the funded places they currently provide.’

Julia Margo, chief executive at the Family and Childcare Trust said, 'The availability of expanded free early education for three and four year olds is absolutely crucial to helping parents who work or want to move back into work. In the short-term, the Government needs to make sure childcare providers get adequate funding so they are able to offer these extra hours. But without more radical reforms, the childcare system will not meet the needs of too many parents, children, childcare providers, employers, or the wider economy.'

Source: Catherine Gaunt, Nursery World / NDNA report

See also BBC News report at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education-35587685

A Charter for Early Childhood

Early Childhood Forum launched A Charter for Early Childhood at the Houses of Parliament in 2014, designed to transform policy and practice based on our beliefs and principles. With the proposed and actual changes happening now, our 12 point Charter seeks consensus across the whole sector to guide politicians in their decision making, using the latest evidence from research and practice.

Some of ECF's charter principles are discussed in Sue Palmer's book called 'Upstart' which states the case for raising the school starting age and providing what the under sevens really need.


Download: ECF_Charter_2016.pdf

ECF Early Childhood Forum