The free quarterly for people working and interested in children’s centres

As a modern-day barometer of social trends and issues, Google offers a useful insight into the state of the nation. Enter ‘children’s centres’ into their search engine, and it reveals a total of 5.5 million results. There is a heartwarming selection of active websites for individual and groups of children’s centres, and government information on finding your local provision. However, it is not long before a raft of local stories of the closure, or reshaping of centres, is presented. Stories describing the potential loss of 35 children’s centres in Buckinghamshire, or relocation of centres in Herefordshire are current examples. The narrative, unfortunately, is a familiar one.

We are left wondering when funders and commissioners will emerge from their sleep-walking into increased costs in the longterm, and understand the relevance of preventive and early intervention services as a cost-cutting measure for the future. With this in mind, in this edition, we hear from Leicestershire’s approach to managing the challenges of continuing to deliver the core offer, whilst balancing the pressures of austerity funding, all at the same time as need for such services are increasing locally.

We also learn about the everyday knowledge quality practitioners may need to support the delivery of early years learning, in addition to their theoretical knowledge. A key issue for anyone leading provision, who understands the importance of qualifications combined with the ability to deliver the professional role.With the recent national rollout of the much anticipated 30-hours childcare, we hear from the lead researcher of the national DfE evaluations of its early implementation and early roll out across many local areas. The article provides us with the benefit of learning to date, offering clues to support its delivery across the whole of England from 1st September 2017. In our opinion piece, our Editor, considers the tensions between parents’ and early years providers’ role in supporting school readiness, and the expectations and roles of schools when children reach that important milestone. Read the full edition, peruse back copies and/or subscribe for free here

Childcare Works