SIR - I welcome the government’s plans to allocate £153 million to provide opportunities for evidence based professional development for early years practitioners focusing on speech and language development. It shows some recognition of the important position our teachers in Early Years have in supporting children to bridge the attainment gap.

The pandemic, however, has impacted on the holistic development of children. There now needs to be a concerted effort to support all aspects of our youngest children’s development and learning at every level.

To address the full spectrum of learning loss, we must create opportunities for children to play and gain new experiences outside of academia. They are incredibly resilient and will bounce back if given the time and right environment to do so. However, the current education system of education does not allow enough of this.

As well as education recovery, there needs to be an equal focus on the financial recovery of education settings. Early Years providers have remained open throughout the pandemic; having faced many challenging and difficult decisions it is now vital that they too are given support to continue providing high quality and sustainable provision.

Preeti Patel, Head of Education at Montessori Centre International, Bloomsbury Square, London