Early years maths programme receives funding for expansion

Up to 405 nurseries will be able to access free training around delivering early maths after a National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) programme secured funding for national rollout.

The 12-month Maths Champions programme received £539,429 in funding from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), secured through the Department for Education’s Accelerator Fund. The funding will allow up to 405 PVI, maintained and school-based nurseries to gain access to the Maths Champions programme during this academic year at no cost.    

The programme includes one-to-one support sessions, bespoke online training courses, coaching, an observational assessment tool and play-based activities, aimed at increasing practitioner skills, knowledge and confidence. The role of Maths Champion and Deputy Maths Champion is to support, inspire, and motivate staff within their setting.

A project evaluation report showed that children in settings taking part in the programme made on average three months’ additional progress in maths and language development. 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.  

Settings in England can sign up now to deliver the programme from February 2024. Eligible nurseries  must take three to four-year-olds, with at least six attending for a minimum of 15 hours a week. Practitioners aiming to become Maths Champion and Deputy Maths Champion must be Level 3 qualified practitioners and must commit to completing the programme.  

Purnima Tanuku, NDNA chief executive, said: “We developed the Maths Champions programme to make a real difference to children’s learning and outcomes in maths by enhancing practitioners’ knowledge and confidence in teaching early maths and now more early years settings will be able to benefit from it.”  

Professor Becky Francis, EEF chief executive, said: “Broadening access to proven programmes like Maths Champions is key to supporting all pupils’ development, and levelling the playing field for children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

“The fact that we are able to remove, or substantially reduce, inhibitive cost barriers – particularly at a time when budgets are already thinly stretched – means that these programmes are more likely to reach and positively impact those children who stand to benefit the most.”

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