Home-Start UK welcomes the Government's £500 million spending package for children and families in the Autumn Budget, but warns it will require a joined up approach for health visiting, childcare, social care and education, to see real impact.

The money announced in the Government’s Autumn Budget, includes 75 Family Hubs, which are designed to be one-stop shops for parents to access services under one roof – from breastfeeding advice to parent and infant mental health services.

During his budget speech, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, recognised that the first 1001 days of a child's life are the most important. This has been at the heart of Home-Start's work for almost 50 years.

Peter Grigg, Home-Start UK Chief Executive, said:We welcome the announcement of £500 million for children and families as it marks a clear intention, and significant investment, in the future. However, we are concerned it’s not enough money for the size of the challenge.

“Building back childhood demands a joined-up approach to the needs of babies, children and young people from conception to age 25. Investment is still needed in health visiting, childcare and early education, children’s social care, and support for disabled children.

“Poverty is the enemy of opportunity. Children growing up in deprivation are already far behind their wealthier peers before they start school and even further behind when they leave.”

The Government announcement of £500 million spending includes:

  • More than £80 million for Family Hubs for 0 to 19 year olds.
  • £100 million to support the mental health of new and expectant parents.
  • £120 million investment towards other comprehensive family support programmes.
  • £200m boost to the government’s flagship Supporting Families Programme which helps families through complex issues that could lead to family breakdown.
  • The new funding will implement recommendations by the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP’s recent Early Years Healthy Development Review, which found that the first 1001 days of a child’s life are critical to lay the building blocks for lifelong emotional and physical health.