Our vulnerable children need greater support in early years

Sir Kevin Barron MP
Sir Kevin Barron MP

The charity Action for Children recently published the report, Choose Childhood: Building a brighter future for our children, which found that two thirds of parents and grandparents said childhoods are worse now than for previous generations, writes Sir Kevin Barron MP.

The report highlights the importance of the early years of a child’s life, but raises concerns over cuts to a range of early years services.

I am concerned that many children are not getting the best start in life.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that children’s services are facing a £2 billion funding gap by 2020 and a £3.1 billion funding gap by 2025.

The LGA has also said that demand for these services has increased dramatically.

The report further states that children and young people across the UK are facing growing mental health challenges.

The report highlights that many children and young people do not get the support they need, when they need it.

READ MORE: Government has a duty to ensure every child has a good start in life.

I am concerned that a lack of early intervention is now reaching crisis point.

Some of the most vulnerable children in our society are being impacted by the failure to fund children’s mental health services adequately.

The report recommends for the Government to develop a cross-government National Childhood Strategy for the UK.

It also argues that spending decisions must start to prioritise children and childhoods.

The Government should consider the needs of vulnerable families in all policies and should create a new Minister for Social Justice to drive the social justice agenda.

I also believe the Government must set aside funding to rebuild services for vulnerable children.

I also believe that the Government must offer access to a counselling service in secondary school.

Sir Kevin Barron is the MP for Rother Valley.