Ten years ago there were no Sure Start Children’s Centres – and today there are over 3,000, with 2.4 million families now benefiting.
The Labour Party today celebrated the news that 3,000 Sure Start Children’s Centres have now been opened across the country. Ministers and MPs are visiting local Children’s Centres across the country to mark the significant milestone. The announcement means that the Labour government is on track to fulfil its manifesto pledge of 3,500 centres open by next year.
Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, and Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families visited a children’s centre in Sheffield today to see the achievements on the ground. But today is not just about celebrating our success – it is also to highlight the danger proposed by David Cameron’s Conservatives. The Conservative Party plans to cut £200 million each year from the Sure Start budget, which could see one in five Children’s Centres forced to close their doors.
The Labour Party, however, are going to continue to invest in children’s centres. With funding of £1billion a year there will be 3,500 by 2010 – one for every community across the country, providing invaluable help and support for children and parents.
Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“I am proud of what the Labour Government has achieved over the past ten years for children and parents, with Sure Start centres providing a vital service up and down the country. I have visited many centres, and today is a fantastic chance for us to thank all those involved in making Sure Start centres a service which can transform children’s lives.
“Children’s centres form the foundations to so many communities. The Conservatives would cut Sure Start funding and this could put one in five children’s centres at risk. It is essential we invest in helping people when times are tough – and not cut back on vital services like these when people need them most.”
Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, said:
“We now have over 3,000 Sure Start Children’s Centres making a huge difference to parents and children up and down the country. This is a fantastic achievement and I want to thank all the staff and volunteers who have helped make Sure Start such a success.
“By next year there will be 3,500 centres and each one of them will soon be linked to a named health visitor. And while the Tories would cut funding, the Labour government will keep investing in Sure Start to make sure every child gets the best possible start in life.
“Labour is working hard to make this country the best place for children and young people to grow up. David Cameron’s Tories like to talk about helping families but behind the marketing they do not support the real help children and parents need.
“Today is a proud day, and I look forward to celebrating reaching our 3,500th Sure Start centre next year.”Other news from The Labour Party