Very Early Childhood Education: Parents’ Views about their Two-Year-Olds in School and their Family Lives

Jane Murray, Jemima Murray

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This article reports findings from a small-scale case study that captured parents’ views about their experiences of a targeted government funded programme of early childhood education and care for the 40% ‘most disadvantaged’ two-year-olds in England. The programme is funded in the context of national government policies oriented to (i) closing the educational attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers and (ii) realising full employment. Parents’ responses in questionnaires and interviews illuminated ways they believed their ‘disadvantaged’ two-year-olds’ attendance at funded ECEC in an inner-city primary school affected their children’s development and their family lives. Findings provide evidence for the argument that it cannot be assumed that policy translates into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1554
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number10
Early online date24 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Dr Jane Murray is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in Education at the Centre for Research and Education. She teaches, researches and has published extensively in the fields of education and early childhood education, with special focus on social justice and she has advised governments on educational issues in countries including Bhutan, Ethiopia, Estonia and the UK. Jane holds UK qualifications as a teacher and a head teacher and prior to working in higher education, she taught in schools and early childhood settings in England for two decades.

Jemima Murray holds a first degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies and was awarded Early Years Professional Status in 2010. She has worked in a range of children’s services and is currently Lead Practitioner for provision for two-year-olds in a large primary school in London, UK.


  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood education and care
  • Social policy
  • Family
  • Parents
  • Young children
  • Pediatrics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology


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