In the Budget and Spending Review on 27 October 2021 the Chancellor announced £500 million of funding over the next three years to “to transform ‘Start for Life’ and family help services in half of the council areas across England”. It added that this will be used to fund a network of Family Hubs, Start for Life services, perinatal mental health support, breastfeeding services and parenting programmes. (see ‘Levelling up by supporting families and early years’, page 68 of the HM Treasury Autumn Budget and SR report, 27 October 2021).

In a speech on 2 November 2021, the Children’s Minister, Will Quince said that the funding included “£300 million…to transform services for parents and babies, carers and children in half of the local authorities across England” and £200 million to expand the Supporting Families Programme (previously the Troubled Families Programme).

The Government has previously committed to promoting family hubs and, as part of this, funded the establishment of a new National Centre for Family Hubs in May 2021 to champion family hubs and share best practice. In his speech on 2 November the Children’s Minister, also announced a new £12 million Transformation Fund to support around 12 local authorities to open family hubs.

Further information on policy in this area, including the Early Years Healthy Development Review led by Dame Andrea Leadsom (see The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days, March 2021) is available in the Library briefing: Early intervention: policy and provision (last updated August 2021).

An Adjournment debate was held in July 2021 on the case for a cross-Government strategy for improving outcomes for children and families.

Information on the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) resources on early childhood interventions can be found here: The case for investing in early childhood interventions

In September 2021 the RCPCH published a submission ahead of the the Government’s Spending Review, which outlines some of the latest data on child health and the need for early intervention: RCPCH Spending Review submission September 2021

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