Last week in Parliament attempts to defend children’s centres from central Government cuts were defeated. I voted for the motion to protect children’s centres and am disappointed the Prime Minister is not keeping his commitment on this.
A year ago, David Cameron said he would protect and improve Sure Start children’s centres, yet despite this promise, the budget for them has not been safeguarded. The Early Intervention Grant through which these services are provided has been cut, in real terms, by about a quarter.
Sure Start children’s centres, widely recognised as groundbreaking and highly effective, provide a crucial service for communities. Yet, at a time when families are already being hardest hit by this Government, the loss of these services will make life even more difficult.
The Government have not had the guts to be honest about the cuts that they are making to Sure Start. Instead they have cut the budget, removed the ring fence and offloaded the problem and responsibility on to local authorities.