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Abstract for:

A question of quality: Do children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive lower quality early years education and care in England?

Ludovica Gambaro,  Kitty Stewart,  Jane Waldfogel,  March 2013
Paper No' CASE/171: Full paper (pdf)
Tags: children, families and education; children and child poverty; childcare and early years education; poverty, exclusion and equalities; equality, capabilities and human rights; early childhood; pre-school; childcare; quality; disadvantaged families


This paper examines how the quality of formal early childhood education and care is associated with children’s background. By using different indicators of quality, the research also explored how the relationship varies depending on the way quality is measured. The analysis combines information from three administrative datasets – the Early Years Census, the Schools Census and the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) dataset on inspections (2010-11). The results suggest that children from disadvantaged background have access to better qualified staff. However, services catering for more disadvantaged children are more segregated and receive poorer quality ratings from Ofsted, the national inspectorate.