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Many children in early years settings experience the loss of a parent and they all need support, says Professor Cathy Nutbrown

On Friday 11 September, I was reminded of events 14 years ago when two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre in New York.

To do the best for the children in our care, it is crucial to develop strong partnerships with their parents or carers.

Over the past few months it has felt as though childcare issues have dominated the political age- nda. As welcome as this has been, the reality is that childcare has always dominated the lives of almost every working parent in this country.

Camila Batmanghelidjh calls for a revolution in caring for vulnerable children.

With the election just weeks away, Professor Cathy Nutbrown urges politicians to see childcare as an essential service for the common good.

When I was young, it was the accepted norm that children were parented at home, and educated at school.

The Troubled Families programme needs to work with early years practitioners and organisations, says Maureen Longley of Interface Enterprises

Dr Richard House, a co-founder of Early Childhood Action, shares his first impressions

Decisions about childcare affect thousands of families on a daily basis. We know from a whole range of surveys that parents struggle with decisions about childcare for reasons of affordability, availability and quality.