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Early years manifesto

In the run-up to the general election, our columnist Natalie Perera has some advice for the next Prime Minister.

Childcare policy 20 years on

Caroline Flint, who set up the first cross-party group for childcare, and was one of 101 Labour women MPs elected 20 years ago next month, reflects on the dramatic changes to early years policy since 1997.

Children's centres: Where next?

Lisa Harker, head of Strategy Unit, NSPCC, calls for children's centres services to be refocused on supporting children under the age of two

Childcare isn’t working

We need an affordable and much simpler childcare support system, backed by employers, that helps all parents and carers into work

The parent trap

We need a shift in the mindset of employers in the UK, so that flexible working is seen as the norm, not the exception, argues Sarah Jackson

Championing childhood

Sir Al Aynsley-Green argues that our approach to early years comes at a huge economic cost to individuals and society

A fairer deal is needed

Earlier this year, Birmingham City Council announced that from April 2015 childcare providers in the city would only be funded to deliver the free entitlement if they paid the Living Wage of £7.65 an hour. The uproar in the sector was well reported by Nursery World and is easy to understand.

To the point - Getting mums on side

Last week marked the beginning of party conference season. All the parties know that they have to speak to and for women to stand a chance of winning in 2015. This means that childcare will increasingly feature as we head towards the election.

Helping kinship carers

We’re hearing more and more about the role grandparents are playing in children’s lives, but many are also full-time carers for their children, says Lucy Peake

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