Skip to content

Navigation breadcrumbs

  1. Home
  2. Support us
  3. Give

Supporting early years

Improving early childhood care and development is one of the most high impact ways to improve future academic, economic, health and wellbeing outcomes. Ark Start offers high quality, affordable care and firm educational foundations for the youngest children.
Pupils enjoying the wildflower meadow at Ark Start Oval in Croydon

The early years of a child’s life are fundamental in shaping their life outcomes. The period from birth to five years old is crucial for brain development, forming the foundation for future learning, behaviour and health.

Because learning builds on previous foundations, interventions aimed at closing learning gaps tend to require more resource. Improving early childhood care and development is therefore one of the best ways to improve future academic, economic, health and wellbeing outcomes.

When children join the school from Ark Start, I know they’ve had a solid grounding. They know that school is all about learning, sharing your work with your teacher, because they’ve had that time at Ark Start where their moments are cherished and celebrated. I can see they’ve got good, qualified staff there because the children have got all those qualities that we want to instill: curiosity, being open to the world and excited to learn.

Reception teacher

Ark Start focuses on developing vocabulary, providing access to additional curriculum experiences, working closely with families, and training nursery staff. We provide high-quality early education in deprived communities, with the aim of showing ‘what works’ in early education and at what cost.

Through our approach we are reaching the most in-need families.

Children attending Ark Start are making accelerated progress. Of the two cohorts that have now completed Reception:

Since the launch of Ark Start, we have been advocating for reforms to the early years sector. Opinion pieces referencing the Ark Start model have appeared in the Times Education Supplement, Nursery World and the Financial Times.

In order for the Ark Start pilot to be rigorously evaluated, we need to expand.

Could you help Ark Start expand to more nurseries?