The Government has announced that more family hubs are being opened around the country, with all 75 of the local authorities that are involved in the scheme offering access.
Thanks to £300 million of government investment, a new national Start for Life Little Moments Together campaign (backed by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care) will see around half of the country now able to access free resources and advice for parents to support their child’s development. The funding will secure the family hub approach with Start to Life services being enhanced for families with children up to the age of 19, or the age of 25 if the child has special educational needs and disabilities.
Gillian Keegan, Education Secretary, said:
“Family hubs act as one-stop shops and provide a universal offer to parents and families to provide them with extra support when they need it.
“This support is on hand for parents and carers from conception through to those teenage years. I’ve seen first-hand how important it is that families are able to build confidence and aren’t made to jump through hoops, explaining their situation to professionals over and over.
“That’s why through family hubs, along with our reforms to childcare and children’s social care, we’re making sure that the right support is available for families in the way that works best for them.”
With this new development, parents in the 75 authorities will be able to access a contact that can provide support for home learning, and hubs will give parents and families support to improve a child’s language and communication skills. The ultimate goal of this is to increase readiness in schools.
Minister for Public Health, Start for Life and Primary Care, Dame Andrea Leadsom, also commented:
“It is fantastic to see so many of these vital hubs within easy reach of families up and down the country.
“We’re committed to ensuring all parents get better access to help and support to improve their child’s learning and development, including learning at home.
“The free resources now available through the Little Moments Together campaign will provide vital tools to help parents ensure their baby is getting the best possible start in life.”
Despite the increased number of Family Hubs opening, the Local Government Association has responded with a call to include all local councils. In this response, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board Cllr David Fothergill said:
“It is good news that new family hubs are open for people who need them and this is a testament to the hard work of councils.
“Family hubs represent an important opportunity for councils to support families and to help them gain access to a range of vital services in their communities.
“We’d now like to see this scheme extended to all councils so these transformative benefits can be felt across the country.”
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