Unless you are stuck on a train or bus with nothing else to read, the chances are you are reading this because you are a parent.

And if you are a working parent, you are probably feeling frazzled. There is the race against time.

There is the matter of the cost of childcare.

There is also the issue accessibility, a particular bugbear if your child's nursery is in the opposite direction to your workplace.

Help! But how can you get your voice heard?

Well, you can do that by shouting on a street corner writing to the letters page.

But you are more likely to bring about change if you talk to those who are on the same wavelength and, more importantly, have the power introduce changes that will benefit children and parents alike.

No, we are not talking about lobbying but something more direct. For the past three years, there has been a quiet revolution, so quiet you might not be aware of what is going on.

First, the Government put together a childcare strategy with the aim of dramatically increasing the number of places for children from birth to 14, raising standards and recruiting more people into early education and childcare.

This was backed initially by £390 million nationally and a further £170 million of National Lottery money to help new out-of-school clubs set up.

This is topped up annually with the result that, after years of childcare existing in a backwater, it is now looking more buoyant than ever before.

Next, the responsibility for all this was given to the community. Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships (EYDCPs) were created for that purpose, one for each education authority.

In East Sussex, there is a county-wide EYDCP and another for the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove. Both are run by small teams of paid staff, all with specialist skills but driven by the community.

Or almost all of the community. For there is one gaping hole: parents.

Professional bodies such as the Pre-School Learning Alliance and the National Day Nurseries' Association are represented, as are nurseries, playgroups, out-of-school clubs, schools and community groups.

But what both EYDCPs really need is input from parents who, as children's first teachers, are vital to success.

This is a chance for parents to ensure that childcare genuinely reflects local needs.

The most direct form of influence is to join one of the task groups, which focus on areas like training, quality, standards, special educational needs and recruitment.

These thrash out issues and report back with recommendations to the EYDCP board.

Clearly, parent representatives representatives speak for parents and children as a group.

So, if you are a school governor or belong to a Parent Teacher Association or community group, you would be particularly welcome as you would be able raise issues that matter locally then feed information back.

But, on a personal level, this is a chance to have your say. Ring the numbers below for details of how to get involved.

For more information about childcare provision throughout East Sussex, with the exception of Brighton and Hove, ring Kites Childcare Information on 01323 737294.

For details of childcare provision in Brighton and Hove, ring Brighton & Hove Childcare Information Service on 01273 293545.