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Policymakers may need reminding that actions speak louder than words. The focus of the foundation years is on child development, proclaimed the Government in its document, 'Supporting Families in the Foundation Years'.

Let me introduce myself. I'm nasty and aggressive; a bit of an oddball, in fact. I'm cold, clinical, and uncommunicative.

The Olympics and Paralympics brought cheer to millions, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the pageantry of the opening ceremony and much of the sporting drama. But what are our priorities? Would we rather pay for entertainment, or support the life chances of several million children by improving the essential skills of communication and language?

Quality in childcare matters. High-quality provision imp- roves child development, school readiness and longer-term outcomes for children, from earning potential to life expectancy. Low-quality childcare can minimise the benefits, or even result in long-lasting negative effects, on development.

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