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In the run-up to the school holidays, childcare policy was given prominence by the Government and the opposition. Labour's Childcare Commission held its first listening exercise as Government launched a consultation on its own commission. This consensus of concern underscores the importance of childcare and acknowledges that the current settlement isn't working.

With just one month before the EYFS revisions come on stream, it would be fantastic if we were all pulling in the same direction. But instead there is a serious mismatch in some of the messages coming from forces that affect services for our youngest children.

The Nursery World team have certainly found it difficult to tear themselves away from watching Team GB in the Olympics for the past week or so, but luckily there are lots of parallels between the sporting action and this issue of the magazine.

Government adviser Louise Casey says the chaotic histories of thousands of "troubled families" need to be addressed to help them turn their lives around. Sally Goddard Blythe gives her view

By children's minister Sarah Teather

It's not often I feel moved to say this, but a new resource from the Department for Education is absolutely fascinating!

In recent weeks we have seen two important announcements on childcare and early years learning: the final report of the Nutbrown Review of early learning and childcare qualifications and the establishment of a childcare commission. These are both welcome developments.

'Narrowing the gap' has been a central focus of investment in early years, aimed at decreasing the divide in life chances between those children who are the haves and have-nots.

I sometimes wonder if Denmark ever tires of the constant flow of UK early years professionals and politicians who stream into the country to marvel at its high-quality, universal, affordable childcare.

Childcare needs to be more accessible and more affordable, but at the same time quality must not be compromised, says Anne Marie Carrie, chief executive of Barnardo's

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