Minister launches 4Children’s ‘What to Expect, When’ guide for parents on child development

10 March 2015

The guidance, supported by the Department for Education and launched at a 4Children conference today by the Minister for Education and Childcare, Sam Gyimah MP, is responding to a  need for a simple and accessible guide for parents to their child’s progress in the early years.

The booklet will help parents know what to expect during the first five years within the seven areas of learning and development which are covered in the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage: personal social and emotional development; physical development; literacy, communication and language; mathematics; understanding the world; expressive arts and design.

The guide outlines what parents should notice at various stages, while offering clear tips on how they can support their child’s learning and development.

It will be available to providers and parents via the Foundation Years website and can be purchased at cost price from 4Children.

Minister for Education and Childcare Sam Gyimah MP, who will today launch the guide, said:

“No parent should be left in the dark about their child’s development.

“This guide will be a hugely valuable tool for parents, who all want to know if their child’s development is on track.

“’What to Expect When’ will offer them an invaluable peace of mind as well as helpful tips on how they can support their children to thrive in the vital early years.”

Chief Executive of 4Children, Imelda Redmond CBE, added:

“4Children is delighted to launch ‘What to Expect, When’ which will help parents understand more about their child’s learning and development in their crucial first five years.

“This material will be able to support any parent or carer who wants to know more about their child’s development. Expert advice is hugely valuable when parents are in need of reassurance and a helping hand, and I hope as many parents as possible will be able to access it.”

Nicola Amies – Director of Early Years at Bright Horizons, one of the largest private nursery chain, said:

“’What to Expect, When’ will be an invaluable resource for training and supporting practitioners in their work with parents.

“The guide comes at the perfect time ahead of the roll out of the integrated review in September – which will merge the health and early years review giving parents a more complete picture of their child’s development.

“Bright Horizons will be using the guide to inform practitioners of what they should be looking out for and how they can help support children’s development in the early years. It will help parents and practitioners work off the same page, crucial in supporting children’s development.”

Beatrice Merrick, Chief Executive of Early Education, said:

“We welcome this new parents’ guide as a simple clear resource for parents.  Parents have a vital role to play in fostering children’s earliest learning.

“Once children take up a place at a setting or school, the learning is fostered best by partnership between parents and practitioners, and this guidance should help make parents familiar and comfortable from an early stage with the language and concepts which practitioners use in the Early Years Foundation Stage.”

Notes to editors

For further information or to request an interview, please contact:

Ellie Gellard on 07969 437 066 or<>


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