“The first 1000 days of a child’s life are crucial”. Agreed. But in what respects are they crucial? In my judgement the crucial elements beyond nutrition, warmth, and hygiene include providing love, security and regular stimulus that promotes language development and cognitive growth. The quality of interaction between parent and child during these first 1000 days has a major bearing on the personal qualities and probably the intelligence of the eventual adult.
This interaction is the proper responsibility and, indeed, the potential joy, of parenthood. What is sad to read in this paper is that “over half of mums say they would prefer to go out to work if they could find good quality and affordable childcare.” The Labour Party should not support this modern trend in family life. To go out to work and earn enough to pay someone else to nurture your children should be seen as a denial of parenthood. In my view one parent – either mother or father – should be looking after the child during the crucial 1000 days, and that is something that we should assert, loud and clear and so order the economic affairs of the country that this can be achieved by every family that so desires.
In a recent pamphlet  I described two kinds of parent.
There are, of course, several necessities if the idea of one parent being at home during the “1000 days” is to be universally practical.
SUFFICIENT FAMILY INCOME
First, whichever parent is the wage earner must earn sufficient money to support the family in their home and, if that is not possible, the state must supplement, or provide, sufficient income for the family. State subvention would be just because the first 1000 days of every citizen should matter in a civilized society where everybody has the right to a happy and satisfying lifetime and that is much determined by what happens in those 1000 days. In order that the out-at-work wage-earning parent can earn sufficient money, there must be effective legislative control over minimum wages to ensure that this can happen. There should also be appropriate legislation to ensure that a career is not endangered by a man or woman withdrawing their labour for several years of stay-at-home parenthood.
The best way of ensuring there is sufficient family income with one parent staying at home is the emergent idea of citizen’s income . This is the notion that a regular basic payment by the state is made to every man, woman and child as a citizen’s right. It is a non-conditional payment as a citizen’s right. If this were enacted it would facilitate one parent staying at home with their young children without impoverishing the family..
STRONG SUPPORT IN SURE START CENTRES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY
Second, there must be strong professional and community support available for the home-based parent – in Sure Start centres. In addition to professional services including midwives, health visitors, nurses, family counsellors and (as I argue below) teachers, all Sure Start centres should include community rooms with at least a cafeteria and an abundance of toys where parents can regularly meet, establish new friendships and create a local culture of joyful parenthood. Sure Start was begun by Labour in 1998 and by 2010 there were 3,500 Centres, often with the facilities described above. But since then the Conservatives have appreciably cut the funding, facilities have been reduced and several hundred centres have closed. The next Labour government must reverse this trend and put well-equipped centres into every community. Yes – this will require substantial state funding.
OUTREACH SUPPORT BY PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
Third, is the novel idea that community teachers experienced in early years education should contribute to the work of Sure Start centres by working with parents and encouraging what I have called ‘group A’ parental activity. I suggest in my pamphlet: 
It will add to the educational budget, but if it works, as I believe it will, in seriously reducing the “tail” (meaning the children growing up with poor literacy, oracy and numeracy), eventually it will save the expense of later attempts at remedial action for these young people.
It must be stressed however that putting these extra commitments onto a primary school must only happen if they have had the shackles of Ofsted, obsessive national curriculum, extensive assessment regime, floor standards, league tables, and performance-related pay, taken off first. Then both measures (Sure Start and “shackles off”) will contribute to the prospect of more successful and satisfying lives ahead for all of their pupils.
These three points could do what the Commission’s paper sets out do: make a step change in the early years of childhood.
I confess I find the Commission’s paper somewhat disappointing. It seems to have been written by economists not educationists. Thus:
The recognition in the paper of the importance of Sure Start centres is welcome. Perhaps the economists could work out what it might cost to enable every family around the country to have access to one.
The great merit
of the paper is in the Labour party asserting the vital importance of those
“1000 crucial days”. What is missing is
discussion of what should be happening in that period. I submit that my account of Group A and Group
B parents is fundamental to radically enhancing the worthwhile educational development of children in Group B.
 Bassey: Primary Education, Sure Start and Tackling ‘The Tail’ December 2013
 Some mothers even talk and sing to the child in the womb.
 New Zealand is considering introducing this. See http://citizensincome.org
 see 
This ia an extended version of a paper posted on YourBritain on 17 April 2016