The Government is responsible for helping each and every child achieve their full potential, whatever their background or circumstances. We believe in trusting professionals to do their jobs, free from the central targets and bureaucracy of recent years. Most fundamentally, we believe that the Government should take action to support the disadvantaged and that this support, whether through free early education, the network of Sure Start children's centres, or intervening early with other services that make a difference, is crucial in helping children fulfil their potential.

Research clearly shows that good-quality early education does benefit children in the long term, particularly the most disadvantaged. The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) project, for instance, has shown that high-quality, pre-school provision enhances children's all round cognitive, language and social development. Leon Feinstein's research on the correlation between social-economic status and the attainment of children gives us a clear basis for intervening early to tackle disadvantage through good Early Years support.