Ealing is one of the top 10 boroughs in the country for helping young disadvantaged children achieve a good level of development.
Ealing ranked sixth out of 132 local authorities, according to the latest figures released by Ofsted (the government’s school and early years’ inspection body).
Historically children eligible for free school meals are more likely to start primary school at a stage of development that is behind other children of the same age, which can have a significant effect on their life chances and place them at a great disadvantage.
The latest figures, however, show that in 2014 55% of Ealing children aged five and younger receiving free school meals achieved a "good level of development".
This compares to 67% of children who do not receive free school meals and is a 6% improvement on the previous year, putting Ealing in the top 5% of all local councils.
Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Quality early years provision has a lasting and substantial impact. When children start school ready to learn and able to communicate and form relationships with adults and their fellow classmates they are already on the right path to having a positive school experience.
“We have an excellent track record in helping local children to achieve their potential, regardless of their background, but we recognise that there is always more to do. ”
Ealing Council's early years' team plays a pivotal role in supporting parents through its network of 27 children’s centres placed across the borough.
The team also works with schools, Ofsted-registered nurseries, play groups and childminders to make sure they are meeting the standards for learning and development set out by the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).