First 1001 Days Movement response to the Budget and Spending Review
In today’s Budget and Spending Review, the Chancellor stated the importance of a child’s first 1001 days and announced new funding for services for children and families. The Budget and Spending Review documents can be found here.
We welcome the Chancellor’s recognition of the importance of the first 1001 days and the funding invested in services for babies and their families. However, it is important to be clear that the money announced today is not just for children during pregnancy and the earliest years. The £500m announcement includes money for family hubs and the supporting families programme, which are services for children of all ages.
To make a real difference to the lives of babies and their families, local authorities and health services needed significant and sustained increases in core funding. Disappointingly there has been no real-terms increase in the Public Health Grant, which funds important services like health visiting. This means that these core services which can reach out to babies, and identify and respond to their needs will continue to be under-resourced.
We look forward to seeing the detail on other elements of today’s announcements, and to working with Government to ensure that this funding makes a real difference to babies and their families. However, Government must not overstate the scale of investment it has made in babies’ lives. This is an important step forward, but not the transformational change required to level-up the life chances of children across this country.