Conservatives plan to extend Family Hubs

The Conservative Manifesto has promised to extend Family Hubs to all local authorities. This would both extend funding for the 75 local authorities where they currently operate, and introduce new funding for those authorities currently without it. This provides some recognition of the need to support families with young children, but with funding levels for Family Hubs only being a fraction of what was available for Sure Start Children’s Centres, it is unlikely to restore support services to previous levels.

They have reaffirmed the party’s commitment to the roll out of the 30 funded hours of early education and childcare for working parents so that by September 2025, children will be eligible for 30 hours a week from the term after they turn 9 months old. They have also reconfirmed the additional £500m to increase hourly funding rates that was promised in the budget. However, they have not committed to any new action on early education and childcare – no plan for the workforce or to review funding levels. This is disappointing given the clear messages from the sector about the extent of action needed to deliver the new entitlements and create an early years system which is fit for purpose.

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