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An increasing number of nurseries operate policies that restrict staff from touching or cuddling children. We do this because we are afraid of allegations of abuse, says Suzanne Zeedyk.

Those who lived through the bleak days of the Woodhead/Blunkett Education regime of the late 1990s scarcely imagined that early-years policy-making could be any more Dark-Aged, but in this respect the current Wilshaw/Gove regime is breaking all previous records.

I signed up to the campaign calling for an immediate end to all advertising aimed at young children not because I want to idealise childhood but because I worry that children's lives being imbued with products and brands has a negative impact on emotional and creative development, says Susie Orbach.

Research shows that high quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) improves children's life chances.

Many parents and carers realise that children love to hear the same stories read again and again. What new research in this area uncovering, however, is why this is repetition is beneficial for learning.

We should remember past mistakes in early years policy when trying to move forward or our youngest children will be in inappropriate environments, say Karen Wickett and Dr Verity Campbell Barr, lecturers in Early Childhood Studies at Plymouth University

Dr Katherine Rake OBE, chief executive of Family and Parenting Institute.