The strategy was initially intended to be published in the Spring, due to feature measures designed to address child poverty, expand parenting provision and possibly introduce a voucher scheme for parenting classes. In July the government stated that it was still committed to the paper but they have now announced that this will not be published and instead a social justice green paper will be published next year.
The sector will be disappointed in this with Neil Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-School Learning Alliance expressing his concern and disappointment that this much-promoted strategy has been discarded believing that all children, regardless of background, should have the best possible start in life.
It also emerged that the government’s child poverty unit has been scrapped. This was a cross departmental unit and will also be a great disappointment to the sector.