The Early Years Commission seeks to establish an evidence-based, cross-party consensus on early years policy in England that supports child development, tackles inequalities, and improves life chances. It will make a concerted push for implementation and system change, in Whitehall and local communities across England.
The Commission is taking a broad approach to the areas it considers and the evidence it hears, but the central focus is on children from conception to age 4. There are three policy broad themes:
- Services within the home: the Commission will examine the support for families and the provision of services in the home, looking especially at perinatal care, parental and infant health, support to balance work and caring, parental leave, financial support for families, parenting and relationships support, the home learning environment and education of caregivers around early child development.
- Services outside the home: the Commission will examine the support needed for families that is provided outside the home, looking especially at children’s centres, family hubs, the provision of childcare, and the early years workforce.
- Delivering early years services: the Commission will examine how central and local government can support early child development more effectively, including how better policy can be made across Whitehall, how agencies involved can work together better, how funding and resources can be distributed to areas of need, and how accountability of services can be strengthened.
For many of the issues considered by the commission our proposals will apply to England only, although we hope the principles that inform them will resonate in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too. For some of the issues we consider, Westminster legislation and public policy applies across the United Kingdom and where it does, our recommendations will be UK-wide.
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