Octavia Holland is the Director of The Communication Trust, which is hosted by I CAN. The Trust is a consortium of 52 not for profit organisations working to support children and young people’s speech, language and communication in England, especially those who struggle as they have speech, language and communication needs. The Trust provides a range of resources, information, models and solutions for use in transforming and improving children’s communication, influences policy and legislation and supports the development of an informed and confident children’s workforce.
Before joining The Communication Trust in 2015 Octavia worked across central government and the charitable sector in delivery, policy and campaigning roles. Octavia most recently led policy, advice and communications for Gingerbread, the national single parent charity and prior to that spent four years as Chief Executive of Coram’s Fields, a children and young people's charity. Octavia spent the first ten years of her career in central government, in a range of policy and leadership roles for the Department of Children, Schools and Families.
With recent government announcements on the development of strategies covering Life Chances, the early years' workforce and the future of Children's Centres, let's remember the fundamental importance of children and young people's speech, language and communication skills.
We are very worried the cuts to tax credits put a further barrier in place for these single parents who want to support their families in work. Because if upping your hours, or winning that promotion means you lose more tax credit cuts than you gain in pay, taking that next step might not make financial sense.
The tone for single parent families was set by the government's decision to abandon the child poverty targets it had signed up to, and replace an internationally recognised measure of poverty with one its policy advisers have come up with.
We've been hearing from single parents who are incredibly worried about the cuts they are hearing about in the media and are anxiously waiting to hear where the axe will fall in the Chancellor's statement.
The government is committed to make work pay and deliver a fairer welfare system. It also has a duty to reduce child poverty enshrined in the Child Poverty Act. Acting on childcare for those who need it most - and acting now - will go some way to realising these promises.
In recent times, an already tough job has got that much harder. The recession coupled with drastic cuts to public spending has left many single parents worse off, fighting just to keep their heads above water.
Despite the run up to the election dominating the news headlines, many of the parents we speak to say they still haven't heard enough from politicians on the issues that matter to them. They tell us they are frustrated that politicians don't seem to be listening or coming up with the real solutions that they need, and need now.
Even though money can be tight and your children may not be with you for the whole holiday, there are plenty of ways you can create a special Christmas for your family. Here are some top tips for single parents this Christmas put together by our advice and information team.
Unfortunately, despite all the benefits for staff and employers, well-paid and secure flexible work arrangements still prove elusive. Many employers remain faithful to the 9 to 5: after all, for years now, it's been the way to make a living.
12/12/2014 02:56 GMT
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