The most important changes to children's services in the last 20 years are set to improve the outcomes of all children from their early years on. The overall aims are to tackle child poverty, improve child protection and the education and childcare for young children, to raise standards, and to provide greater support for parents in bringing up their children. Multiagency approaches will be developed to serve the needs of local children and families. This massive programme of change to children's services follows the Government's publication of the "Children Bill and Every Child Matters: Next Steps". It presents immense challenges and these rest with local government. Key to achieving the declared goals will be the 3500 Children's Centres set up across the country that will integrate provision of education, care, family support, child protection and health services.
With its multi-agency focus and underpinning theoretical perspectives, this book will be of special interest to everyone involved in Children's Centres and to the increasing numbers of early years staff involved in multi-agency working and strategies: social workers, child care staff, teachers, health managers, policy makers and advisers, and the people working directly with children and their families. It will be a useful resource for academics and students in higher education. The contributors are all committed to working within a multi-agency framework to secure the well-being of young children and their families.