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In-Depth / Childcare and Early Years

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.

Childcare funding in spotlight

By Derren Hayes |

27 November 2018

Early years experts outline changes needed to ease financial pressures as parliamentary inquiry launched.

Resolving childcare apprenticeship

By Derren Hayes |

30 October 2018

Providers' groups say more must be done to ensure childcare apprenticeship works for employers.

EIF blueprint for the future of early help recommends better co-ordination of support for vulnerable families including long-term funding, a cross-government taskforce and commitment to evidence-based practice.

Research shows take-up of funded childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds lags far behind that of three- and four-year-olds. Providers say insufficient funding makes it uneconomical to create two-year-old places.

After a consultation on the role of children's centres is scrapped, providers challenge ministers to present a bold vision for their future and incorporate this into a government-wide review of support for families.

As the second year of 30 hours funded childcare approaches, James Hempsall outlines what council leaders need to do to ensure the policy reaches those eligible and delivers on early years and social mobility duties.

Mapping children's centre cuts

By Neil Puffett |

29 May 2018

Experts challenge minister's assertion that poorest areas have not seen children's centres closed.

Will reception test be beneficial?

By Nick Brook and Nansi Ellis |

24 April 2018

The government is to develop a rating of pupils' ability when they enter reception, but experts disagree on whether it will be a good measure of schools' work and improve the education that children receive.