Sure Start is a unique success story. It transforms lives and inspires deep affection amongst its users. It is a truly historic Labour achievement.
We believe passionately that Sure Start should be at the heart of the next Labour Government’s plans. Consequently we are calling for the 2015 Labour Manifesto to make a strong commitment to Sure Start.
LFoSS has developed a clear Policy Framework which we hope will inform Manifesto development.
This Framework already has the support of a growing number of MPs so please contact your MP to see if they have pledged their support.
Sure Start pledge
“This Government has betrayed Sure Start.
500 Centre closures and 50% budget cuts have ripped the heart out of Sure Start.
We call for a Sure Start renaissance.
Sure Start is special. It is trusted and it is loved. We call on the next Labour Government to proudly reclaim the Sure Start vision and to place it at the very heart of our plans for a One Nation Britain.”
Sure Start policy framework
1. A clear vision is needed to reinvigorate Sure Start after the Coalition Govt’s brutal assault.
2. Sure Start must be at the heart of a shift from crisis intervention to early intervention.
3. Sure Start is more than childcare. The current Govt only cares about getting parents straight back to work. Sure Start exists to nurture and support families.
4. One size does not fit all and local innovation is vital. The role of Central Govt is to provide guiding principles and some obligations around which to meet local priorities.
5. Generous resourcing is essential for Sure Start to flourish. The reintroduction of a ring-fenced Sure Start budget should be actively explored.
6. Central Govt should enshrine Sure Start as a top public health priority, with the expectation that Health & Wellbeing Boards will invest accordingly.
7. A universal offer must remain at the core of Sure Start. In addition, robust interventions and outreach are essential for engaging the most disadvantaged families.
8. Sure Start Centres are an ideal venue for co-located public services such as health and employment partners and local authorities will be expected to take a lead in facilitating this.
9. Centre closures should be resisted. Costs should instead be controlled by focusing Centre remits on a smaller number of evidence-based interventions, limiting bureaucracy.
We warmly encourage all Labour members and supporters to contact their National Policy Forum representatives asking them to advocate for a clear commitment to Sure Start in the 2015 Manifesto. Contact details for NPF members are available here.
You can also download a copy of our LFoSS Policy Framework