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The National Children's Bureau at 50

NCB’s work has touched so many lives – perhaps even yours

For 50 years, the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has been at the forefront of campaigning to improve the lives of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable.

If you have children or grandchildren, you have almost certainly benefitted from their work without even knowing it.

Here are just a few examples of how they’ve reduced the impact of inequality, to everyone’s benefit.

Every family who has taken their child to pre-school, nursery or playgroup…

Throughout its 50-year history, NCB has been at the forefront of arguments for the long-term benefits of early education.

For example…

Their Early Childhood Unit, formed in 1986, has played an instrumental role in promoting the learning, development and wellbeing of young children by planning and providing services for them and their families. It remains the UK’s principal resource centre and think-tank for work with under-fives.

Today, 96% of three and four-year-olds in England attend early education – a figure that seemed unthinkable half a century ago.


Every child who has Special Educational Needs or a disability...

NCB has a long history of shaping policy and practice that has a direct impact on children’s lives. In particular, they champion an approach which focusses on what children can do, rather than their disability.

For example…

NCB played a key role in shaping the 1989 Children’s Act, which transferred responsibility for disabled children from the NHS to their local authority, leading to the closure of long-stay hospital wards for children with learning disabilities.

NCB also consulted on the 1993 Education Act, particularly around children with incorporated in government guidelines.special needs, and many of their recommendations on school exclusions were

Every young person who has been through the care system…

NCB has a long-held belief that councils shouldn’t just care for those they look after; they should also care about them.

For example…

In 2012/13, NCB and the Department of Education developed a new good practice guidance report, which has been sent to every local authority to help them fulfil their duties as a corporate parent.

NCB is actively involved in a range of initiatives dedicated to improving outcomes for vulnerable children and young people – not just those in care but also those in the criminal justice system, excluded from or disaffected with education, in need of protection or living with HIV.


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