This crisis has raised big challenges for families and those organisations supporting them. But as the months roll on, babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers are growing up and reaching important milestones (or not).
Now is the time to develop a better system for young families. Now more than ever, we need to collaborate to achieve the best, joined-up approach to ensuring that families have holistic and practical resource available and accessible to them. And not just in the short term but indefinitely - this is how it should be going forward.
Just as families need stability for the best chance of providing good home-learning environments, organisations supporting them need stability to build trusting relationships, skillsets and local networks. And this doesn't always have to be about 'disadvantage'; crises like this affect people differently and undoubtedly hit those with less options harder, but they also are a leveller. Everyone is affected. Everyone deals with lockdown and social distancing in a different way. Anyone could be on the shielded list and anyone might need a little extra support at this time.
This is an opportunity to offer support universally and for families to engage without thinking twice about a reflection on their parenting, but rather just the circumstances we all find ourselves in right now.
Our Growing Minds project is based on several key premises about how to reduce inequality of education by delivering programmes that are:
3) Asset, evidence and place-based
"Whatever the impact school closures have had on widening the attainment gap, and whatever the adversity experienced by each child, what matters now is how we respond. To have a chance of succeeding, our reaction must be collaborative, intelligent and sustained." Prof. Becky Francis, CEO of the Education Endowment Foundation.