With such savage cuts affecting all services, maybe it’s surprising that Michael Gove has fought to ringfence children’s services for all, declaring, “on Sure Start children’s centres, we want to ensure that the funding is there to maintain the current network.”
Meanwhile, the £7bn “fairness premium,” announced by Nick Clegg, is going to increase state-provided pre-school activities for disadvantaged three to four year olds, and introduce them for two-year olds. Currently, all three to four year olds in England receive 15 hours of preschool activities each week; this figure is set to double to 30 hours per week, with an expected overall cost of £300m by 2014-15.
By embracing Sure Start, the coalition has treated early intervention as a way of highlighting Labour’s failure to tackle deprivation. However, if