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It's time to respect children's rights

You wait ages for one 20th anniversary, then three come along at once. We've just marked the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 Children Act. And this week it is 20 years since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into existence.

Cuts could enhance joint working

The party conference season is over and national politics is destined for a surreal few months in the run-up to the general election. Expect plenty more short-term children's policy announcements - some even eye- catching - as the main parties try to outmanoeuvre each other to strike a popular chord. Politics in Westminster will become increasingly sensationalised and polarised.

Policy into practice - Infant health

THE ISSUE: Being a new parent can be tough. Making sense of all the advice and information from relatives, magazines and experts to work out what is best for your baby can be an exhausting challenge.

Focus of spending must be balanced

It's official: the UK spends more money on child welfare and education than the average market economy. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report out last week, we spend just over 90,000 per child from birth to 18 compared to an OECD average among 30 member countries of just under 80,000.

How childcare can survive recession

The huge expansion in childcare over the past decade is one of this government's most visible achievements. Latest estimates suggest that 2.8 million families use childcare. We are now a childcare nation.

The next commissioner needs bite

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has fired the starting gun to recruit a children's commissioner for England to succeed Sir Al Aynsley-Green early next year.

It's good logic to halve child poverty

The fiscal stimulus, be it tax cuts or increases in government spending, has been all the rage on both sides of the Atlantic, as the boldest way to ride the recession.

The key to Ofsted's rehabilitation

Ofsted has attracted its share of flak in recent months, much of it justified. The verdict of its Annual Performance Assessment of Haringey Council in late 2007 as "good" is now notorious.

Policy into practice Time for fun

THE ISSUEReports looking at childhood have claimed that children's lives in Britain have become "more difficult than in the past", and that "more young people are anxious and troubled".

Teenage fathers

The government launched a campaign earlier this month called Think Fathers to dispel the myth that dads are the invisible parent.

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