Leadership Candidate Andy Burnham writes on Children Centres

Sure Start transforms lives forever. It is one of Labour’s greatest ever achievements and it is under brutal attack by the Tories. Labour Friends of Sure Start believes that the future of our Children’s Centres should be a key issue in this Leadership contest. So we wrote to every candidate for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Party asking their vision for Sure Start. We are publishing their responses this week. Today it is the turn of Andy Burnham…

Sure Start is Integral to the Whole Person Care Agenda

Sure Start is one of our proudest achievements in government. It is Labour’s mission for every child to get the best start and every family supported to flourish. That’s why it’s so gut-wrenching to see children’s centres around the country close under this Tory government and why it’s so important that we hold David Cameron to account for his broken promises to protect Sure Start.

Making sure children and parents are supported in the critical first 1001 days period is vitally important. Sure Start can and should be intrinsic to achieving this. I’ve championed joined up whole person care in later life but for the early years it is just as important because children’s development and life chances are decided before the age of five.

I fear that with another five years Sure Start will be further decimated by this government. They have no vision for Sure Start or family services. We must look to reinvent, revitalise and reinvigorate Sure Start family hubs for the next generation, not leave it to wither and die.

The Labour Party I lead will focus on making a difference for families at the key points in family life. Integrated whole person care in the early years – social care, health services and early years joined together to give a firm foundation for every child will be our goal.

Photo source: Department of Health

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