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.

The best outcome for children in their early years is to have two working parents

The debate around the impacts that working parents have on their children’s development is long running and continuing. Commentators have raised concerns about working mothers especially resulting in children who are less well-behaved, do worse at school and are less healthy. Anne McMunn outlines the results of her research looking at the working habits of parents and the behaviour of […]

Restorative approaches can make a difference in the relationship between local government bodies and the communities they serve

Part of the push behind the localism agenda is the need to re-negotiate the relationship between local governance bodies and the communities they serve. One example of this is the use of restorative approaches that are most often linked to the justice sector. Here Carey Cake and Kirsten Cooper outline the work that a Norfolk partnership has been doing on […]

Early childhood intervention offers value for money and can improve children’s quality of life, but government should consider how far it can intervene before it starts to interfere with individual liberty.

Early intervention offers a relatively cost effective method of increasing people’s quality of life from a very early age. Tim Linehan argues, using the example of consuming alcohol in pregnancy, that despite its attractiveness, government must consider how far its interventions can go without interfering with individual freedoms and freedom of choice.

Failing before school: the gap between children in high and low income families has led to a dangerous disadvantage with those in poorer families more likely to suffer from serious social and emotional problems.

The clear links between early child development and later adult outcomes do not bode well for children of the poorest families, who, as new research has shown, are much more likely to exhibit clinically relevant social and emotional problems than their wealthier peers, writes Yvonne Kelly. There have been numerous efforts to implement early intervention policies aimed at tackling the […]

Budget 2011: Little action for children in poverty

Gareth Jenkins of Save the Children UK finds little to be optimistic about in George Osborne’s ‘neutral’ budget. Yesterday, Save the Children looked to the Chancellor to deliver an action plan in the budget to tackle severe child poverty. He failed to do so, letting down 1.6 million children who are growing up in deep deprivation.

Child protection must focus on the child, not on rules and targets

LSE professor Eileen Munro has signalled a new approach on child protection with an interim report for the Government which focuses on helping children, rather than on the regulations, inspections and procedures that have thrown the system out of balance. Too often in recent history, the child protection system has, in the pursuit of imposed managerial targets and regulations, forgotten […]