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In-Depth / Childcare and Early Years

Five years after the introduction of 15 hours of government-funded childcare for the 40 per cent most deprived families, take-up has started to fall. Childcare experts explain what can be done to reinvigorate the market.

'Invest in the childcare workforce to get best outcomes for children'

By Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green, former children’s commissioner for England |

30 July 2019

"What a mess! Despite investment to give more infants nursery care, there are huge problems with recruitment and retention, and so much unwillingness to gain any further qualification."

How to address the childminder decline

By Dan Parton |

30 July 2019

Inquiry aims to reinvent childminding as experts call for less council red tape and more support from government to stem falling numbers.

Making the case for intervening earlier

By Derren Hayes |

25 June 2019

Building on the impact of the Troubled Families programme can be vital for securing the future of early help in upcoming spending review.

Analysis reveals the largest falls in the use of children's centres is in the poorest council areas leading experts to question the government's commitment to social mobility and call for a new funding and policy direction.

Trailblazers deliver new childcare standard

By Derren Hayes |

30 April 2019

The organisation that has led the development of an early years apprenticeship standard says the new qualification will help practitioners deliver improved outcomes for children and childcare settings.

An evaluation of the government's Troubled Families programme suggests it has helped cut care rates by a third as councils invested millions in early help. With the scheme due to end, leaders say the funding must continue.

Factors for childcare cost rise

By Derren Hayes |

26 March 2019

A perfect storm of stagnant funding rates and rising overheads are threatening providers' future, warn experts.

Early years policy: key questions

By Derren Hayes |

29 January 2019

Andrea Leadsom outlines work being undertaken by a ministerial group to assess gaps in family support.

Scouts turn focus on pre-schoolers

By Nina Jacobs |

02 January 2019

Youth organisation launches programme supporting four- and five-year-olds in disadvantaged areas.