It's every Londoner's duty to create a city that cradles and nurtures our future generations. 4 in 10 children in London live in poverty. That's 597,...
The UK's childcare system is broken. In Scotland, where I lead a major children's charity, multiple factors mean the current settlement penalises many families. The first issue is, simply, cost... There is also a profound crisis of availability. Many parents find it impossible to access childcare provision that fulfils the needs of their child and complements work or study.
Whilst Sir Michael Wilshaw in his address to launch Ofsted's report into early years didn't actually use these exact phrases, I am sure that many of us within the early years were rejoicing that play is clearly being seen as a central ingredient in promoting early years.
For many people, one of the hardest parts is knowing where to start when trying to sort out the childcare arrangements. Emotions are often running high, the legal process can be intimidating, and the practicalities can be overwhelming.
Every year there are the same old debates about whether the school summer holidays are too long and could be spread more evenly around the rest of the year. But that doesn't deal with the essential issue of parents' holidays not in any way equalling those their children get, even if each parent takes them separately.
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.
A poopy nappy is so very easy to change on a baby doll but In reality a baby will kick their legs wildly about, get poop on their feet then crawl off leaving a huge stain on your white carpet before you have even got ONE baby wipe off the pack.
At this point, most voters should take it for granted that campaign promises are nothing but rubbish. Politicians can't get elected without offering the world on a silver platter, and so party manifestos tend to be embarrassingly vague and optimistic in nature. Most of them fade into oblivion immediately after election night. Well, David Cameron isn't prepared to let that happen this time around.
According to the Conservative Party manifesto the 15 hours a week currently available to children following their third birthday is going to be doubled to 30 hours from 2017.
The Conservatives and the LibDems (remember them?) performed the very same trick of arrogantly ignoring, misrepresenting, diminishing, dismissing and belittling the concerns of parents and voters generally. And now we have five years of a Conservative Government to enjoy in all its glory.
The election proved again that politics is increasingly about the personal. And there is nothing more personal than getting the care you need for your family. The next five years will be a real test for the government as it battles to balance the books and meet the growing expectations of families.
You have been following the news. You consider yourself politically alert...
The new royal baby is set to come in time for the May half-term school holidays. So why not give something back to the doting British public who are rushing out to buy souvenirs to celebrate the birth? Last time more than £250million was spent in shops when baby George was born.
'Who are you going to vote for, June?' - This is the question I am regularly being asked by friends and colleagues. But what is the option? Do I vote for the political leader or the manifesto?
The UK is not at the vanguard of parental equality. The imbalance between mothers' and fathers' leave in the UK is among the highest in the OECD. But a rare benefit of lagging behind more forward-thinking nations is that we can wait to see what works (and shamelessly copy it).
To censor myself, or adapt my Blog, to remove mention of the maternal, would amount to succumbing to the taboo of mentioning - let alone promoting - mothering and maternal care, and to the unease with which women often feel in proclaiming their rights or protecting the interests of themselves or their families.