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NEWS: Recent calls for a reintroduction of Sure Start-style investment in families

Last week, new research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies outlined significant positive impacts of Sure Start for children in England. Between 1999 and 2010 the Sure Start early intervention program provided families, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a “one-stop shop” of support including early years and childcare, family and parenting support and health services.

The IFS report demonstrates that children who accessed Sure Start centres went on to achieve higher GCSE grades and access better support for special educational needs (SEN) compared to children who were not able to access the program. This adds to previous evidence of Sure Start reducing government spending in other areas, including healthcare.

Following declining funding and closures of Sure Start centres in England, previous Labour government figures have called on Labour to prioritise a Sure Start-style program in the party’s upcoming election manifesto.

Read the full IFS report here

Helen Donohoe, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:

“This research reinforces the transformative effect that investment into integrated family services has on children's life chances and wider society too. PACEY has long been calling on government for a progressive strategy incorporating all areas of early years and family support, which must be underpinned by substantial investment. With the election on the horizon, there is an opportunity for Government to put families at its heart of its policymaking.”

PACEY policy work  

At such a crucial time for the sector, PACEY is working hard on behalf of our members to improve working conditions for Childminders:    

  • Continuing to urge housing associations, social landlords and developers in England to allow childminders to work in their rented properties that have restrictive clauses in contracts which stop them from working in their homes. 

  • Making sure Childminders play a pivotal role in the Governments wraparound scheme.

  • Campaigning for related children to be included under the funded entitlement scheme.  

  • Challenging DfE and local authorities where funding has been unlawfully withheld. 
     
  • Highlighting the issues of moving Childminders from tax credits to Universal Credit impacting their income and working with DWP to treat Childminders differently.