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Government adviser Louise Casey says the chaotic histories of thousands of "troubled families" need to be addressed to help them turn their lives around. Sally Goddard Blythe gives her view

A children's author serving on an official commission on childcare noticed that many subcommittees were busily making recommendations around a central problem: 'It was generally agreed that the country was full of the wrong sort of people. There were strong opinions about what constituted a desirable citizenry and what should be done to children to procure one for the future.'

David Cameron's recent turn to domestic policy with his 'Can Parent' classes is to be welcomed. Repositioning parenting classes as support for all, rather than a penalty for 'poor parents' is a good first step to encourage uptake. The next will be to ensure the service reaches the vulnerable, as well as the proactive.

How can we best engage parents in the work we do in early years settings? After all, although there is clear evidence of the importance of high quality early education and childcare, a child's home remains the single most important influence on their intellectual and social development.

Violence is no solution to social unrest, so let's not backtrack on smacking

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