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Giving children a better start in life

The National Lottery-funded A Better Start programme to boost early child development celebrates its fifth birthday this month. Those involved in the programme highlight its achievements to date.

Learning Through Play, USA

Experiencing abuse or neglect can hinder the development of executive function skills, which children need in order to filter distractions, prioritise tasks, and control impulses.

Special Report: Early Childhood Development

Policymakers and practitioners are boosting support for families in the most disadvantaged areas to help pre-school children develop the skills they need to thrive and reduce the attainment gap.

Special Report: Play and Play Work

Play secured a funding spurt and national strategy a decade ago, but austerity put paid to much of its ambition. Yet new initiatives and spaces for children to play are vital to social and emotional wellbeing.

A space to play

Play services were dealt a setback with the demise of the national play strategy. Gabriella Jozwiak joins one area that is celebrating play and the positive impact it can have on children, families and communities