The vision to create a joined-up system of health, family support, childcare and education services so that all children get the best start possible in the vital early years remains high on the government’s agenda. Evidence from recent reports, such as the ‘Baby P. (Peter)’ case where agencies caring for the baby, who died of neglect at 17 months old, were described as ‘lacking urgency’ (BBC News 2009a), highlighted serious failings among agencies working in child protection. The appalling facts of this case, coupled with the shocking outcomes from UNICEF (2008), which placed the United Kingdom bottom of a league table for child well-being across 21 industrialised countries, may suggest serious flaws in the effectiveness of ‘joined-up’ services.