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Early years services see funding halved since 2010

Urgent action is needed to protect vital early years services, Barnardo’s has warned.

Research by the charity has revealed that funding in some areas has reduced by almost 50% since 2010.

Figures from the Department for Education show that over the last six years, children’s centres have had funding slashed from £1.2bn to an estimated £0.6bn - a cut of 47%.

The charity has called on the government to help cash-strapped local authorities to find new ways to provide family support services across England.

It has recommended that councils review whether standalone children’s centres are still right for them, or whether they should work with health and social care providers to find alternative ways to deliver these services.

Javed Khan, chief executive of Bardnardo’s, said that it is “vital” to find funding for early support services for families, despite the budget cuts faced by councils.

He continued: “If families are helped to tackle issues early on, this reduces the likelihood of problems increasing and leading to more deep seated difficulties in later life.

“Investing in early intervention and family support services simply makes sense – not only are we investing in our children, we are investing in our future.”

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