There is growing recognition amongst policy-makers of the importance for children’s development of the first few years of their lives. The right support in these early years makes it significantly more likely that a child will grow up to be a healthy, happy contributor to the economy and society around them. Its absence, by contrast, increases the likelihood of poor health, low attainment, and anti-social behaviour, storing up vast costs to the public purse further down the line. In many ways the voluntary sector has been ahead of policy-makers on this issue. Thousands of voluntary
organisations up and down the country provide support to pre-school children and their families, and many have been at the forefront of developing new ways of working in this field. This report, produced by the ACEVO Early Years Taskforce, chaired by Anne Longfield OBE, looks at the potential of charities in providing early years services.