This is the final edition of Nursery World for 2004 - our next issue is out on January 6. We can look back on a year packed with change in the early years sector, including the publication of the five-year strategy for education and the ten-year strategy for childcare. Every Child Matters: the next steps was published, the Children Act was passed, the national service framework for health was released, children's centres started to roll out, the Sector Skills Council began, the light-touch approval scheme was set up, and there were significant mergers and acquisitions (the biggest of which fell apart) in the private nursery market.
The pace shows no signs of slackening for 2005, with the consultation on workforce reform and the green paper on youth due out in January. The recruitment, training, composition and quality of the workforce will be the major issue of the next few years. Throw in a general election, and no one will be able to pause for breath!
Nursery World will hit the year running, too, with a new pull-out series on working with parents and a fairytale poster series, plus a host of supplements including Nursery Topics, Out of School, Professional Nanny and Head for the Sun.