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Autumn debate on the early years

Gillian Pugh's article (TES, June 21) provides a useful analysis of the background to the Government's early-years strategy. Quite rightly she highlights seven areas in which change is needed if young children are really to benefit from Labour's policy, and I would like to endorse her thinking.

The issues she mentions are high on the agenda for the early childhood unit here at the National Children's Bureau. And I would like to draw your readers' attention to our biennial conference in Nottingham - a conference which Ms Pugh herself initiated back in 1988.

Together with NES Arnold and CACHE, we intend the conference, on September 6 and 7, to be a forum for debate on these points. There will be presentations on: recruitment and retention; supporting children's learning (particularly the under-threes); and consultation with young children.

Information from Sue Smith at NES Arnold on 01530 418224 or email SuSmith@findel-education.co.uk Sue Owen

Director, Early childhood unit National Children's Bureau 8 Wakley Street, London EC1

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