Early years overhaul

The government’s strategy for the future of child care, first
outlined in July’s comprehensive spending review, has been
published by the Prime Minister’s strategy unit.
Delivering for Children and Families gives details of plans to
create 250,000 new child care places by 2005-6 in addition to the
earlier target of 1.6 million new places by 2004.
It says that Sure Start should eventually be integrated with early
years and child care services within councils.
Setting out a vision of services in 2010, it says that new
investment in child care must be backed up by reform at local
level, giving local authority chief executives rather than early
years development and child care partnerships a more central role
in driving services forward.
The review says it will be important to give local authorities the
lead role in supporting delivery of joined up services, including
Sure Start, and that the various initiatives at local level should
be brought together, starting with Sure Start, early education and
child care.
Integrated funding will be given to local authorities with less
ring-fencing over time for high performers.

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