Childcare policy and the wider role of the community was the focus of the Daycare Trust annual conference in London on 22 November.
A subject one would expect to have been well and truly embedded in the structure of our society. All the evidence clearly indicates the benefit of excellent early years environments and good foundations for young children. The effect on raising aspirations and morale of parents, enabling all to enjoy this crucial time in their lives is such a bonus.
Kate Groucutt, Policy Director provided information about the numbers of Children’s Centres that are facing major changes or have closed, in the light of budget cuts. The removal of ring fenced budgets means that local authorities are, in some cases having to make major cuts.
Harriet Harman reflected that a child- centred’ view is what many parents want and that it should be part of the infra structure. It is a universal requirement and not just for those parents in most need.
Other speakers included; Professor John Mohan from Southampton University, Lynn Chesterman from the Grandparents Association, representatives from Children’s Centres and local authorities,Professor Pat Thane, social historian, from King’s College and Sarah Teather, Minister of State for Children and Families.
Daycare Trust, still in the driving seat campaigning for childcare and the provider of research, training and consultancy.
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