child with wooden blocks

Early years maths and language champions programmes receive funding across Greater London  

Two professional development programmes designed by NDNA aimed at increasing practitioner skills, knowledge and confidence in delivering early maths, language and communication have secured funding for 18 London boroughs.   

The main beneficiaries will be disadvantaged children aged two to five-years-old across Greater London.  

Supported by the Mercers’ Company as trustee of the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington the Mercers’ Early Years Special Initiative is providing funding for 150 Maths Champions and 50 Language & Communication Champions programmes. This funding will allow 200 PVI, maintained and school-based nurseries to gain access to the Maths Champions and Language & Communication Champions programmes over four years.  

The 18 London boroughs will benefit from the funding which provides grants to organisations in London that use evidence-based interventions to increase young children’s numeracy, literacy and language skills and improve their school readiness through PSED (personal, social, and emotional development).   

A project evaluation report published by the EEF showed that children made on average three months’ additional progress in maths and language development compared to children who had not taken part in the programme. There was also some evidence to suggest that children from disadvantaged backgrounds made on average up to six months’ additional progress in maths and language development.   

Year 1  Year 2  Year 3  Year 4 
Barking & Dagenham  Croydon  Enfield  Brent  
Hackney Ealing  Greenwich  Hammersmith & Fulham  
Islington  Lambeth  Hounslow  Haringey  
Newham  Lewisham  Waltham Forest  Kensington & Chelsea  
Tower Hamlets  Southwark    

 
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said: “We are delighted that the Maths Champions and Language & Communication Champions Programmes have secured additional funding supported by the Mercers’ Company as trustee of the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington.   

“We developed the Maths Champions and Language & Communication Champions programmes to make a real difference to children’s learning and outcomes in maths and literacy by enhancing practitioners’ knowledge and confidence in teaching early maths and literacy. Supporting all children to reach their full potential, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds is crucial and now more early years settings in Greater London will be able to benefit from it.   

“The findings from the Maths Champions Programme evaluation provides strong evidence that ensuring confidence with maths and language early on can have a significant impact on the development of three and four-year-olds, who made on average an additional three months’ progress.  This is particularly the case for children from disadvantaged backgrounds where the evidence shows the impact could be as high as six months, helping to close the attainment gap.   

“High quality early childhood education and care is essential to improving all children’s life chances and lifelong learning and the only solution to close the disadvantage gap and give all children the start they deserve.”   

In the first year, 45 Maths Champions programmes and 15 Language & Communication Champions programmes will be delivered to those boroughs ranked 1 on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) including Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Islington, Newham and Tower Hamlets.   

During year two, 45 Maths Champions programmes and 15 Language & Communication Champions programmes will be delivered across boroughs ranked between 2-4 on the IMD.  Years three and four will see 30 Maths Champions programmes and 10 Language & Communication Champions programmes delivered to boroughs also ranked between 2-4 on the IMD.  

Serena Hedley-Dent, Deputy Clerk of the Mercers’ Company, said: “The Mercers’ Company as trustee of the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington are delighted to be supporting the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) with their Early Years Maths and Language & Communications Champions programme.   

“This support is part of the Early Years Special Initiative which supports organisations to address the attainment gap in young children by improving school readiness and increasing their numeracy, literacy and language skills.  We look forward to working with the NDNA over the next four years.” 

 
The Language & Communication Champions programme has not yet been externally evaluated, however, based on the emerging impact of Maths Champions the programme is being updated to follow the same successful steps as Maths Champions.  

NDNA will deliver an annual Champions programme with inductions taking place between September and July in each of the four years. To be eligible, settings must take a minimum of six three to four-year-olds who attend for at least 15 hours a week. Participating nurseries are required for their programme leaders to be Level 3 qualified practitioners for the roles of Maths Champion and Deputy Maths Champion and must be able to commit to completing the 12-month programme.   

The role of Maths Champion and Deputy Maths Champion is to support, inspire and motivate staff within their setting. A nine-step programme is accessible across 12 months including one-to-one support sessions from NDNA, bespoke online training courses, coaching, an observational assessment tool and play-based activities.  

  • England

Similar Articles

Labour responds to NDNA’s concerns about nurseries in schools plan

Labour’s Shadow Education Minister Bridget Phillipson has responded to NDNA’s concerns about Labour’s plans for…
Read more

The week of the Manifestos

This week we’ve seen the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Labour party unveil their 2024 election…
Read more