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Another year draws to a close in which the early years sector has been the scene of activity and change. Even in this run-up to Christmas we have seen CACHE's bid to run one of the sector skills councils replacing the National Training Organisations turned down, and the sale of one of the top ten UK nursery chains, Just Learning, to Alchemy, famous recently for trying to buy Rover. There will be much to fight for in 2002. Nursery World will continue to campaign against the regulation which says that childminders can smack children and smoke in front of them with their parents' permission. This must be overturned in the next review of the care standards. We will continue to press for better training, career structures and pay for those working with young children. We will strive for the early years sector to maintain a high profile and not take a back seat to other governmental concerns. The cross-cutting early years review will be a watershed for the future.

Another year draws to a close in which the early years sector has been the scene of activity and change. Even in this run-up to Christmas we have seen CACHE's bid to run one of the sector skills councils replacing the National Training Organisations turned down, and the sale of one of the top ten UK nursery chains, Just Learning, to Alchemy, famous recently for trying to buy Rover.

There will be much to fight for in 2002. Nursery World will continue to campaign against the regulation which says that childminders can smack children and smoke in front of them with their parents' permission. This must be overturned in the next review of the care standards. We will continue to press for better training, career structures and pay for those working with young children. We will strive for the early years sector to maintain a high profile and not take a back seat to other governmental concerns. The cross-cutting early years review will be a watershed for the future.

We hope all our readers have a great and much-deserved break. Nursery World will be back on January 3 with some brilliant new features.

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