Sarah Teather is wrong to say Children's Centres will get enough funding

Roopal Gordon's picture
Yesterday, in Nursery World magazine, Sarah Teather wrote this:  “We have ensured there is enough money in the system through the new Early Intervention Grant (EIG) to retain the network of children's centres”.This article “Early intervention grant is cut by 11%”explains how the EIG represents a cut in funding.

“Funding for intervention programmes in England, such as teenage pregnancy and youth crime support, are to be cut. Next year the government is introducing a new early intervention grant, which will be given to local authorities to distribute as they see fit. The grant will replace funding to schemes like the Youth Taskforce, the Youth Crime Action Plan, Young People Substance Misuse and Teenage Pregnancy. But it will be almost 11% less than previous funding streams. The Department for Education says in 2011-12, the overall amount that will be allocated through EIG will be 10.9% lower than the aggregated funding for 2010-11. In 2012-13 it will be 7.5% below the 2010-11 figure.”The money isn’t ringfenced either so individual programmes are vulnerable.  See here. Michael Gove, the education secretary said: 'The EIG is not ring-fenced, giving local authorities the flexibility to respond to local needs and drive reform, while supporting a focus on early intervention across the age range.”

And here are just a few examples of forthcoming CUTS to children’s centres:

Manchester to privatise all its children’s centres (February 2011)

Closure threat to '250 children's centres (January 2011)

Lewisham Early Years Provision at serious risk. (February 2011)

“As part of its £88 million cuts package, Lewisham Council is proposing to cut Sure Start Children’s Centres budgets by 20% from March and then hand them all over to private providers by September”
There is NOT ‘enough money in the system’, Sarah.
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Francis Gilbert's picture
Fri, 25/02/2011 - 14:37

I think the downgrading of Every Child Matters (not mentioned at all in the Education Bill as far as I aware) and the cuts highlighted here show that the government has little interest in improving the prospects of our most vulnerable children. How short-sighted!

Roopal Gordon's picture
Fri, 25/02/2011 - 16:43

I agree, Francis. The removal of the requirement for all full daycare settings to be led by an Early Years Professional (a graduate level Early Years qualification) is also worrying.

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