DfE will proceed with implementing the majority of its plans in January 2024, but has decided not to implement two of the proposals, including the proposal to reduce the percentage of Level 2 qualified staff required.

We were deeply concerned about the impact this change could have had on the ability of early years settings to provide a language rich environment, and to identify and deliver interventions to children at risk of language difficulties.

We therefore strongly welcome the government decision to listen to feedback and not proceed with this change.

However, we remain concerned that there are risks associated with many of the proposals that will be going ahead. In particular we are very concerned that removing the requirement  for providers to take reasonable steps to provide opportunities for children to develop and use their home language sends completely the wrong message to providers and families, and risks increasing inequalities for these children.

We urge the government to continue to work with the children’s sector as it implements the changes to mitigate the risks and ensure a high quality early years education for all children.