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By Terry Vanderheyden

LONDON, November 11, 2005 ( – A proposed law to mandate that all children enter preschool from birth is being debated by UK lawmakers.

Introducing the bill, Children’s Minister Beverley Hughes said the program would provide “integrated care and education from birth. We want to establish a coherent framework that defines progression for young children from nought to five.”

A spokesman for a parent’s association commented, “We are now in danger of taking away children’s childhood when they leave the maternity ward.” Margaret Morrissey added that “From the minute you are born and your parents go back to work, as the government has encouraged them to do, you are going to be ruled by the Department for Education. It is absolute madness.”

The Birth to Three Matters proposes to be compulsory for infants and toddlers, equal to the requirement that older children attend school. Included in the proposal is an evaluation system, whereby early childhood educators would need to demonstrate that children have met certain learning objectives by age three.

See BBC coverage:

Contact information for Beverley Hughes MP:

email [email protected]

House of Commons
  SW1A 0AA
  phone: 0207 219 3802 fax: 0207 219 2961