Investing in services is not enough; raising incomes is vital to improve children’s outcomes

Conducting a systematic review of all the available empirical evidence, Kerris Cooper and Kitty Stewart found clear evidence that money itself does make a difference to children’s outcomes. Spending £1,000 on raising household incomes would have a similar impact on children’s schooling outcomes as spending £1,000 on schools. However, raising household income would impact many different outcomes at the same time. Income […]

Book Review: Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All

In 2010, California suffered the largest and deadliest outbreak of whooping cough in more than fifty years. In recent years, other diseases with available vaccines such as measles and mumps have also made a comeback. Infectious-disease expert Paul Offit argues that the root cause of these epidemics can be traced to a group whose vocal proponents insist that vaccines are harmful, […]

Book Review: Providing a Sure Start: How Government Discovered Early Childhood by Naomi Eisenstadt

Providing a Sure Start tells the story of one of the flagship programmes of New Labour: how it was set up, the numerous changes it went through, and how it has changed the landscape of services for all young children in England. Mog Ball reviews Naomi Eisenstadt’s insider’s account, but finds it to be too light on analysis and writes […]

Book Review: Youth Policy, Civil Society and the Modern Irish state by Fred Powell et al.

Exploring the development of youth policy and youth work in Ireland from the mid-19th century to the present day, authors Fred Powell et al. provide a strong account of policy changes and facilities made available for young people over the last 150 years. Dr Ken Harland finds the book to be an honest account of the difficult times youth work in Ireland has […]

Early action to prevent social problems can offer a triple dividend of stronger communities, reduced costs and greater growth

Even before the riots of August 2011, many people were concerned that policymakers were too frequently coping with the outcomes of social problems rather than the root causes. Anne Power, a member of the Early Action Task Force, looks at a new report which could offer an alternative vision of how early intervention can strengthen communities and obtain growth at […]

Transgender parenting and the law: we must be creative with legislation to cater for parents who do not fit neatly with the traditional family model.

The UK’s laws surrounding parenthood are no longer fit for purpose and do not cater for questions on gender, assisted reproduction and legal parenthood. Rightful parents risk ending up in a precarious legal situation if we do not abandon law’s traditional interpretations of parenthood, argues Julie McCandless. In April 2008 Thomas Beatie’s personal account about being pregnant and carrying a […]

Child maintenance charges risk pushing those who need financial support the most out of the system

Proposed changes to child maintenance including charging to access the service at all have been condemned by family, church and community groups. Caroline Davey from Gingerbread outlines some research they have undertaken that shows the possible number of families that would be seriously affected if this policy is introduced.

Despite initial mistakes, the success of the Sure Start programme has been to prove that government does have a role to play in the development of young children.

Mistakes made in estimations of time-frames and complexities meant that Sure Start did not deliver all the scheme promised. Yet Naomi Eisenstadt argues that the scheme’s one great success has to been to rule beyond doubt that government must fulfill its responsibilities in regulating and part-funding a child’s development.

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.