Nearly three-quarters of people in the South East believe that children should be ready to start school at the age of five, according to a poll from charity Action for Children.
In a survey of 4,000 adults across the UK, the results found that 72 per cent of people in the South East agree with evidence that suggests development by age five is associated with success in education and better employment prospects.
The research marks the launch of ‘Fair by Five’ a campaign calling on the government to make child development a national priority and help families overcome the barriers that keep children back.
A good level of development in areas that enable children to cope emotionally, communicate with teachers and be confident interacting with other children would allow them to have a better start in life.
Carol Iddon, managing director at Action for Children, said: “What happens in the earliest years affects our later lives. If a child starts school behind their peers, without having reached a good level of development, they are likely to stay behind - which can seriously impact their ability to do well in education and employment throughout life. We know that two in five children who live in the most deprived communities, arrive at school not ready to learn.
“There has never been a more important time to focus on tomorrow’s adults. We can’t afford to let down thousands of children who could and should be getting a better start in life. We need the government, and all political parties, to commit to doing more for this group. It’s time to close the gap in child development.”
Readers can sign up to be an Action for Children campaigner at www.actionforchildren.org.uk/fair-by-five
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