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No more excuses

Wales has introduced a Bill to abolish the ‘reasonable punishment’ defence for hitting a child – and the rest of the UK will hopefully follow

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

New ways to close the gap

We desperately need innovation for the early years so that we can close the ever-expanding advantage and development gaps, argues Ravi Gurumurthy of Nesta

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

Early years benefits all

It's clear that nurseries and childminders benefit the majority of children, regardless of background,says Professor Edward Melhuish, lead author of the latest SEED research

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