Bright Beginnings Whitepaper

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The Bright Beginnings framework was developed between March 2020 and November 2020, in response to the growing demand for an internal pedagogy and curriculum within Bright Horizons UK. The framework encompasses a range of educational theories and philosophies, while prioritising children’s wellbeing as the foundation for successful learning.

The application of emotional wellbeing, and its targeted support in early years education, has remained a developing but under-represented aspect of the EYFS national curriculum. However, increasing research is improving our understanding of the developmental benefits of emotional wellbeing and self-regulation in early childhood. In addition, a growing body of academic research has explored the long-term effect that higher levels of self-regulation have on achievement.

This paper outlines a pre-pilot investigation into the effect of the Bright Beginnings Curriculum on the children's emotional wellbeing and regulation, in Bright Horizons nurseries in the UK. The study included 66 children from 31 Bright Horizons settings in England, and 69 practitioners. A mixed methods design was adopted using environmental audits, ex-post facto observation methods, and survey methods of practitioners, to explore the impact of implementing the new curriculum on children’s emotional regulation and wellbeing.

The results demonstrated significant improvement in children’s involvement and wellbeing, and in children’s prosocial behaviours. Further results from practitioner surveys highlighted improvements in children’s ability to control impulses to scream, hit others and express a 'tantrum', and to recognise behaviours in themselves and others that are socially acceptable.

Overall, the results suggest a positive improvement in children’s self-regulation skills post introduction of the Bright Beginnings Curriculum, thus providing promising directions for future research and implementation of the curriculum across all Bright Horizons nurseries in England.

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