Feedback from our consultation on the first draft of Birth to 5 Matters

As guidance from the sector, by the sector, the Birth to 5 Matters team continue to seek the views of practitioners, and to respond to what practitioners tell us they want and need.

Our second major online survey (14 December 2020 – 11 January 2021) offered the chance to read and respond to the first draft of the Birth to 5 Matters core document.

Among the 371 respondents, there was strong endorsement for the work so far.  It was rated as clear and accessible, as well as supportive of practice. Responses to Draft 1 included:

WOW. This is a tour de force, and next stages will build on this excellent document.  

This document will be an incredible resource for the sector and make an important difference to provision for children and families. Thanks again for making this possible and including so many voices – democratic practice at its heart.  

Such a fantastic, powerful, beautiful and helpful document. I am so thrilled to see all of it so carefully put together and the emphasis on the holistic nature of child development, wellbeing, participation and learning, on inclusion and social justice, attention to key person, child agency, parents as resources etc.

We asked how we could improve the guidance, and received hundreds of detailed suggestions including requests to provide supplementary information and references for deeper exploration. We are taking all this on board in our revisions for Draft 2, and in planning our online resources.

You can read a detailed breakdown of the questions and response.

Here is what we heard from the survey, and how we are responding.

  • The guidance is clear and accessible, but a small minority thought it should be less wordy and formatted less densely.

Revisions for Draft 2 will include attention to both editing and formatting.

  • All sections will help to support practice, and guidance on the Areas of Learning and Development will both support practitioner knowledge of child development and support practitioners in providing for children’s development and learning through Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments.

We are pleased that we are on the right track.  All specific comments about what we have missed or what could be improved have been referred to the relevant Working Groups who are responding to all feedback in revising the guidance for Draft 2.

  • Bto5M will support practitioners to meet statutory duties in the EYFS.

We will ensure that where Bto5M structure differs from that of the statutory Early Learning Goals, the reasons for this are explained.  How Bto5M covers all aspects of the statutory EYFS will be clarified.

  • The consensus model for depicting age/stage links which emerged is to use overlapping ovals.  There is, however, a strong divide between those who strongly favour broad stages without age links and those who strongly reject that model.

We are developing a model which will be presented in Draft 2, which places less emphasis on ages while still meeting the sector’s desire for guidance on typical age-linked progression.