The earliest years of a child’s life, when they are 0-5 years old, are a crucially important stage of development and have a major impact on their future outcomes.
Recent reports, such as the Frank Field review of poverty and life chances and the Graham Allen review of early intervention, have highlighted the positive impact interventions in the early years can have on improving the life chances of children, particularly the most disadvantaged.
There is particular need to support children from disadvantaged families as their development can quickly fall behind other children's, even in their earliest years.
Supporting vulnerable children in children’s centres
Helping children at this early stage is a core element of our work to support vulnerable children across the country.
We run around 35 children’s centres in England that support children under five years old and their families, and we provide several other services that work with children in the early years including those with disabilities.
Policy and lobbying work
Our policy team works to lobby and influence decision makers to ensure better understanding of children’s needs in early childhood, and improve support services for families with children in their early years, particularly the most disadvantaged.
Our main lobbying priorities are:
- developing children’s centres to become community hubs for early childhood services, and to improve the reach of services to the most disadvantaged families
- ensuring that other key services engage with the most disadvantaged and hardest-to-reach families with young children
- making high-quality childcare affordable and accessible to all families by ensuring they are given sufficient support with their childcare costs.