The number of children using children’s centres in Wakefield has plummeted 75% in 3 years, despite over 23,500 children living in poverty in the District.
Sure Start was introduced by the last Labour Government to improve the education and life chances of all children, regardless of their family’s income or background.
Research from Action for Children shows that local authority spending on children’s centres fell by £327m between 2014/15 and 2017/18, and the number of children using children’s centres decreased nationally by 400,000 to 1.8m – a fall of around 18%.
Wakefield’s 75% fall is one of worst in the country, with a fall from nearly 13,000 children a year to just 3,500 between 2014/15 and 2017/18.
Mary Creagh MP said,
“Every child deserves the best start in life, but children from poorer backgrounds are less ready for school at five compared to their peers from better off families.
“It is vital we close that gap, and Sure Start centres are crucial in achieving it. If we don’t, many children will find it difficult to catch up, potentially harming their future life chances. But the Conservatives have cut funding for children’s centres to the bone.
“I have written to Theresa May, urging her to use her last weeks in office to address the funding gap for children’s centres by giving local authorities the funding they need.”