A 2020 Vision for the Early Years

In 2005, the Prime Minister made a long term commitment to “a nationwide early year’s service for under fives based around the personal needs of each child and their parents”. As the profile of early year’s policy increased, the tensions underpinning it have become exposed.

This paper formed part of an extensive project at the Social Market Foundation exploring the contribution of early years to improving the life chances of disadvantaged children and their families. As a government report into the effectiveness of policies to tackle social exclusion makes clear in 2005, the contribution of early intervention in this area is indisputable: “Early intervention to provide a better start in life remains the best lever for tackling long term social inequality.”

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