In its first report into early years education, Ofsted wants families to be supported to ensure their children start school ready to learn.
The shadow education secretary has weighed into the row between the Department for Education and the chief inspector of schools.
Deborah Lawson, the General Secretary of Voice: the union for education professionals, reacts to Sir Michael Wilshaw's Ofsted report.
Good quality childcare is "all that matters", according to an education minister, who will announce plans to structure nursery education in an attempt to bridge the gap between low income and middle class pupils.
The Department for Education wants a "school-led system that is self-improving" in early years, which Liz Truss believes should be achievable without huge expense.
– Liz Truss
Sir Michael Wilshaw - who spoke about this last week - is absolutely right.
The early years are vitally important, and they're our best opportunity to eradicate the gap before it gets any bigger...
That's why we have been simplifying the red-tape, making it easier for good providers to expand.
Schools, nurseries, private providers, childminders - as long as you're providing good-quality childcare, that's all that matters - and there is a place for everybody.
An education minister will tomorrow endorse the chief inspector of schools' vision for more teaching in early years, despite a wave of criticism of the plans.
Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw sparked controversy last week with a call for more youngsters to start learning in school nurseries from the age of two, saying it would help break a cycle of disadvantage which sees poorer children fall far behind their classmates by the time they are five.
In a speech in London tomorrow, education minister Liz Truss will back the chief inspector's position and set out plans to improve and expand teaching in early years.
Restrictions have been removed so that any school can open a nursery and school nurseries can open for longer hours to fit in with parents' work schedules, she will say.
The chief executive of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw said the government's Sure Start programme had failed to effectively close the gap in educational achievement between rich and poor students.
In an interview with Political Correspondent Libby Wiener, he said although Sure Start had helped some of the most troubled families, it had not had enough of an impact, and more could be done within the educational sector itself.
Schools regulator Ofsted wants poor children to be prioritised for places at good primary schools, in order to try and address the educational achievement gap between rich and poor.
In its first inspection of the pre-primary education, inspectors found stark inequalities in how children had been prepared for school, and called for nurseries to improve the structure of their education.
To get the priority place, children would need to take up a government-funded place at age two. It also called for the new pupil premium to be extended to two-year-olds.
The government currently funds free nursery places for poor two-year-olds, as well as 15 hours of free care for all three and four-year-olds. Sir Michael Wilshaw said:
"Admissions policies should change to give the poorest children priority in securing places in reception at the best schools.
"But to get this priority, it would be on condition that they take up their funded early education place there at the school from the earliest age possible and attend regularly."
The head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw has said he is "perplexed" by the complexity of the early years education system, adding that the bureaucracy involved in changing or expanding provisions was "mind-blowingly unnecessary".
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Schools regulator Ofsted has called for pupils as young as two to take part in more "structured" learning and pass basic tests.
Readers on Twitter were overwhelmingly against the move:
@itvnews Anyone who knows the slightest thing about children will know that they learn best through play. Ridiculous testing so young.
@itvnews ridiculous! Let children be children.
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Ofsted needs to address the inconsistent quality of its inspections, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has said, following a report that suggested more nursery education should be carried out in schools. Mary Bousted said:
[We] know from members and research that an overly formal and narrow academic curriculum at too young an age damages children's learning.
Although the chief inspector's remarks imply he doesn't understand, Ofsted inspectors need to understand that young children learn best through planned and structured play, talking, sustained shared thinking, by exploring real world experiences and in inspiring learning environments.
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has told ITV News more "structured" play and learning in nursery schools "doesn't seem like a bad idea".
"I think we have to address this issue of disadvantaged children who aren't school ready by the time they turn up in reception year," Mr Hunt said.