Early Years/Early Childhood

Facilitated by Nicola Burke – nicola@musicforearlyyears.co.uk

Five key issues have been identified that need addressing within Early Years.

1.  Early Years not in the National Plan for Music Education

2.  Engagement of parents / carers

3.  The wide range of early years settings and business models

4.  Training & CPD

5.  Promoting and celebrating cultural diversity

Important considerations to carry across all planned activity:

The positive, evidenced effects of music making in the early years on:

a. cognitive, emotional and social development

b. language and communication skills

c. interacting with others

d. confidence and self-belief

e. parent and child attachment

The importance of continuing to professionalise the early-years sector as a whole and music within it, through:

a. a fit for purpose teacher training qualifications right from the off

b. a connected workforce to share ways of working

c. culturally diverse practice

d. activities informed by involvement of parents / carers and taking a multi-agency approach


  • MEC to push hard for the inclusion of Early Years in the National Plan for Music Education
  • MEC to secure agreement from the national membership organisations under the MEC umbrella that they will do the same to ensure a united voice
  • advocate the importance for all providers of early-years music-making to be more systematic in asking what parents / carers want and planning their activities accordingly
  • advocate the importance of multi-agency working, which was also agreed to be vital in terms of assessing need and securing the interest of parents / carers and their children particularly for those in challenging circumstances
  • share good examples of the engagement of parents / carers on the Youth Music Network
  • Arts Council England  has a social investment programme called the Arts Impact Fund. Further information here
  • School for Social Entrepreneurs, runs courses in scaling up / social franchising and setting up a social enterprise
  • Early Years will continue to be a priority area in Youth Music’s new business plan for the period April 2016 to March 2020 – informed by the responses to the MEC consultation