Government announces £500m in support for young families
By Rachel Lawler
The government will announce £500 million of funding for Family Hubs, mental health support for young families and breastfeeding advice in the Spending Review next week.
The 'Hubs' will be spread across 75 areas, offering a "one stop shop" for support and advice for families.
The funding is said to include £50 million for breastfeeding support, £82 million for Family Hubs, £100 million for mental health support and £200 million for families facing issues that may lead to family breakdown.
The funding also include £50 million in "signposting" for the Start4Life initiative, offering advice during pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
First 1,001 days
Chancellor Rishi Sunak commented: "We know that the first 1,001 days of a child's life are some of the most important in their development, which is why I'm thrilled that this investment will guarantee that thousands of families across England are given support to lead healthy and happy lives."
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: "The Chancellor is absolutely right to say that families with young children need of more support, but to invest in these new initiatives while leaving the existing early years infrastructure to crumble is, frankly, negligent.
"Current funding for the government’s flagship 15-hour and 30-hour entitlement policies is totally inadequate, causing prices to rise for parents while many providers close their doors. If that remains the case after next week’s Spending Review, parents will rightly question whether this government is truly committed to supporting families with young children.
"Early childhood is critical in shaping children’s life chances, but that critical period does not end after 1,001 days. That’s why we have called on government to conduct a wholesale review of early years funding and support, to ensure every child gets the best possible start in life, including access to the quality early education and care that can make such a difference to families."