Funding for Positive Begin centres in Birmingham has been slashed by half for the reason that Conservatives entered authorities, new figures revealed as we speak.

Information from the Division for Training exhibits simply £18.7 million was spent on the centres within the metropolis in 2017/18.

That’s down by £5.5 million in comparison with the £24.1 million spent within the earlier monetary 12 months.

And it’s a drop of 50 per cent from the £37.four million spent in 2010/11, when the Conservatives got here to energy as a part of a coalition authorities with the Liberal Democrats.

Positive Begin centres have been introduced in 1998 by the then-chancellor, Gordon Brown, with the intention of “giving youngsters the very best begin in life”.

They have been launched by the late Tessa Jowell later that 12 months.

The centres have been aimed toward assist enhance outcomes for younger youngsters and their households by providing entry to companies together with childcare, healthcare, parenting courses, job abilities and playgroups.

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However a Nationwide Audit Workplace report in 2010 discovered Positive Begin was struggling to assist the deprived households they have been designed to assist.

The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition authorities which took energy in 2010 pledged to take Positive Begin again to its “authentic goal”, rising its concentrate on “the neediest households” and introducing a system of fee by outcomes.

However information launched in 2015 advised almost 1,000 Positive Begin centres had closed over the earlier 5 years as funding was diminished.

Throughout England, the figures present, Positive Begin funding has fallen from £1.four billion in 2010/11 to £774.three million in 2016/17, and £664.Eight million in 2017/18.

That could be a fall of £109.6 million in a single 12 months.

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The federal government accepted a drop in Positive Begin funding, however mentioned they have been funnelling cash into different household assist companies.

Nadhim Zahawi, the kids and households minister, mentioned: “We offer extra free childcare than has ever been the case earlier than as a result of we wish each little one to have the perfect begin in life.

“There are 1.3m three and four-year-old youngsters benefiting from free early training and we’ve got launched 15 hours per week of free childcare for essentially the most disadvantaged two-year-olds, which nearly 750,000 youngsters have already benefited from.

“Kids’s centres can play an vital function in supporting households, however it’s proper native councils resolve the best way to organise and supply the companies for households of their areas, as a result of they’re greatest positioned to know the best way to meet the native wants – whether or not that is by youngsters’s centre buildings or delivering companies in several methods.”

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Angela Rayner, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for training, mentioned: “Yr after 12 months the Tories have slashed funding for very important companies that assist a number of the most deprived youngsters and households in our nation.

“The power underfunding of those very important companies by the Tories is resulting in centres being misplaced throughout the nation and essentially the most weak are paying the value.

“Labour will make investments a further £500 million in Positive Begin to make sure that each household can entry the assist they want.”


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