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A range of research and evidence highlights the importance of early years to the cognitive, emotional and physical growth of children. It is vital that children starting school have been and continue to be prepared, supported and encouraged to learn to take full advantage. There is no universal indicator of overall early childhood development. Work on that has been ongoing with the Department of Health through work stream 1 of the early intervention transformation programme, which is a Northern Ireland Executive and Atlantic Philanthropies programme. As part of that work stream, a named health visitor is now aligned with every preschool education setting.
I suspect that the Member may have difficulty getting to ask a supplementary question. There are good initiatives on the ground. The Member was in Lisburn with me on Friday at a launch of an initiative for the Lisburn area on early intervention that looks particularly at communication skills. It is building on Talk Boost. I think that the scheme goes across four areas.
So, good actions are being taken. The importance of early years is critical.