What does ‘cultural capital’ mean for early years?

We want to be clear about what we mean
by cultural capital. For schools we’ve said that cultural capital is the
essential knowledge that children need to be educated citizens. For early years,
cultural capital is about giving children the knowledge and skills for
what comes next in their lives. We know children arrive at their childcare
provider their nursery their preschool with different and sometimes more
limited experiences than others. We believe that cultural capital is about
giving children the best possible start to their early education and their
future success. So, giving children the knowledge and skills for what comes next
in their lives. From September, as part of making a judgement about the quality of
education, inspectors will consider how well leaders use the EYFS curriculum to
enhance the experience and opportunities available for children, particularly the
most disadvantaged. For example, research tells us that there is that close link
between the number of words a child knows and their future success. Is it
fair then that some children do not hear the same number of words as others? We
believe there’s an important discussion to be had about what early years
settings do to help children experience that awe and wonder of the world in which
they live through the seven areas of learning. We’ll be asking early years
providers to tell us how they decide what the children in their setting need
to learn, whether that’s making sure children hear more words, or it may be
having opportunities to be more active and explore outdoors and the world
around them. We all know just how important the early years are, building
strong foundations that will make a real difference to a child’s future.
Essentially what a setting does through the Early Years Foundation Stage
curriculum and the interactions with adults can make all the difference.
Cultural capital is about preparing children with the knowledge and skills
for what comes next.

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