Poverty reduction is vital to the Department for International Development's strategy and the Government remains committed to spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on assistance to developing nations and international emergencies. Over the last five years, UK aid has been life-saving and life-changing for millions of the poorest people around the world. For example, between 2011 and 2015, the Department for International Development (DFID) supported over 11 million children in primary and lower secondary education in developing countries.
I am encouraged that nurseries and other providers of early education in the UK are required by law to employ staff who are qualified to support the learning and development of young children. The Department for Education is also supporting the growth of the specialist early years graduate workforce by providing funded places and bursaries for eligible students, and financial support to employers to help them release staff to undertake early years initial teacher training.
There are a record number of nurseries, pre-schools and childminders rated as 'Good' or 'Outstanding' and I am encouraged that the proportion of children reaching the expected learning and development standards continues to rise.