Enriched environments are important for brain development, but can be very hit and miss. What the child takes away from a setting depends very much on the quality of the adult and the stimulus they provide in helping the child to engage with the environment.

Schools go to a lot of effort to provide more and better resources with the aim of benefiting children’s learning. However, a ten-year research project by the Institute of Education in London makes some interesting discoveries.

The research, led by Professor Iram Siraj-Blatchford, looked at the outcome of children’s development over a period of time and the practices taking place in settings and whether they are more or less effective. It found that the quality of staff, not increased resources, is the key to success, and also that a mixture of social and cognitive settings nurture the best results in children.

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