£500 million for children and families must be the start of a new direction in government policy

NCB welcomes investment and looks to Spending Review for the shift in thinking needed to #BuildBackChildhood

  • National Children’s Bureau welcomes investment and looks to Spending Review for the shift in thinking needed to #BuildBackChildhood
  • Treasury announcement follows publication of ‘Case for Investment’ by coalition representing hundreds of children’s sector organisations.

Wednesday’s Spending Review is a turning point for children and families. Instead of going back to how things were, this is our chance to look to the future – a future where every child feels safe, secure and supported. The Treasury’s announcement over the weekend of £500 million for children and families provides a glimmer of hope that we are embarking on that new direction.

Last week, the children's sector provided a blueprint for the government to Build Back Childhood. We called for a major increase for the Supporting Families programme, investment in family hubs, and funding for the government’s vision for the best start for life. The Treasury has listened and we applaud them for this. This new investment will undoubtedly make a difference to many families.

But the challenge of building back childhood demands a joined-up approach to the needs of babies, children and young people from conception to age 25. Creating lasting change must mean sustained improvement in local authority budgets to ensure existing legal entitlements can be met and children’s rights upheld. Investment is still urgently needed in health visiting, childcare and early education, children’s social care, and support for disabled children.

Funding educational catch-up programmes without a wider investment in building back childhood will not deliver value for money or deliver the recovery in outcomes the Government seeks. Many children have faced great adversity during the pandemic, including increases in domestic violence, bereavement, and social isolation. Meeting these needs earlier, by expanding access to mental health support teams and early support hubs, provides a ready-made approach.

And while money for public services is very welcome and necessary, the rising cost of living, coupled with the cut in Universal Credit, directly undermines this investment. Poverty is the enemy of opportunity. Children growing up in deprivation are already far behind their wealthier peers before they start school and even further behind when they leave. As well as the human cost, this inequality costs the Treasury billions in additional spending on public services. The Chancellor must respond to rising insecurity, debt, homelessness and hunger by re-instating the £20 increase to Universal Credit.

NCB believes the announcement of £500 million for children and families marks a clear intention to invest in the future which we welcome. All eyes are now on Wednesday’s announcement to see if the Chancellor can continue the journey he has started, and truly deliver the strategic approach that is needed to Build Back Childhood.”

Find out more about the #BuildBackChildhood campaign and read our ‘Case for Investment’ at: www.ncb.org.uk/buildbackchildhood

About Build Back Childhood

Working with children and young people, organisations and coalitions from across the children's sector have united to set out how the Chancellor can Build Back Childhood at this autumn’s Spending Review. Together we represent over 700 members

The call for this much-needed investment is supported by leading children’s charities including the National Children’s Bureau, NSPCC, Barnardo’s, Action for Children, The Children’s Society and major coalitions including the Fair Education Alliance, the Disabled Children’s Partnership, the 1001 Days movement, the End Child Poverty campaign and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition.

Build Back Childhood is the next stage of the Children At The Heart campaign, coordinated by the National Children’s Bureau, calling for adequate funding for children and families.

www.ncb.org.uk/buildbackchildhood / #BuildBackChildhood