Government funding for early help services is expected to be cut by 71 per cent between 2010 and 2020, leaving children and families without the early support that often stops their problems spiraling out of control.
Our new report, Losing in the long run: trends in early intervention funding, published in partnership with Action for Children and The Children's Society, examines the amount of money central government gives to local authorities for early intervention services, and local authority spending on this support.
- Between 2010–11 and 2015–16, spending by local authorities on early intervention services has fallen by 31 per cent, with the biggest cuts affecting children’s centres.
- While nearly 9 in 10 councillors say that early intervention services are a high priority for their local authority, almost 3 in 5 say these services will be reduced in their local communities.
- Nearly 6 in 10 councillors believe that new powers for raising revenue – replacing the Revenue Support Grant – will not be adequate to maintain current levels of spending on early intervention services.
We recommend that the government introduces annual ‘early intervention’ top ups for local authorities after the Revenue Support Grant has been phased out, and that local authorities prioritise resources raised through business rate growth for early intervention services, using local needs assessments and open consultation with local residents.