Government promises to join care and education for pre-school children

Education secretary Charles Clark has launched a range of
initiatives aimed at improving the integrations of social care,
childcare and education for early years’ children,
writes Lindsay Clark.

The early year initiative Sure Start will be extended
so that all parents and families will get one-stop-support at
Children’s Centres with childcare and education, health and
employment advice and parenting support on offer together, within
easy reach of every parent.

For 3 year olds, and for 4 year olds before they start school,
12½ hours a week of free integrated education and childcare
which parents can use flexibly, the minister said. 

All Centres will also offer early years’ education and
childcare – mostly on site, but some through networks.
Children’s Centres will increasingly act as a contact-point
for networks of childminders and nurseries, so parents can match
themselves up with a childminder who is nearby and suits

Among a range of policies addressed at mainstream education, Clark
also announced a new, integrated Youth Offer, with Green Paper on
Youth this autumn to pull together all the various support on offer
to young people, with better support for young people leaving

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