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.
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.
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.