Graham Allen, MP, has today launched his second report on behalf of HMG on Early Intervention: Smart Investment, Massive Savings.
The first report Early intervention: the next steps was published in January, it underlined that many of the costly and damaging social problems for individuals can be eliminated or reduced by giving children and parents the right type of evidence based programmes 0-18 and especially in their earliest years.
The second report sets out how we can pay for those programmes within existing resources and by attracting new non government money.
The key recommendations are that:
- Government sets out as a policy objective that all babies, children and young people should have the social and emotional bedrock essential for their future development and their ability to make effective life choices
- Government leadership and co-ordination must improve ,not least through an Early Intervention Task and Finish Group made up of experts from across Government departments which will establish ,measure and progress-chase Early Intervention outcomes
- The expected “Families and the Foundation Stage” statement must include regular and purposeful assessments for the 0-5s to help spot and correct dysfunction early
- An independent Early Intervention Foundation is set up to promote Early Intervention, spread best evidence based policies and complement the work being done inside government. The Prime Minister is called upon to challenge private, local and philanthropic sources to co-fund with government a £20 million endowment to sustain the Foundation
- We must be more creative in bringing additional non-government money to investment in Early Intervention and that payment by results through outcome based contracts is promoted and funded from within existing budgets.
- As part of building a social finance market we should establish an ‘Early Intervention Fund’ or Funds to raise around £200 million of private investment.
- HM Treasury should commission a thorough review of Early Intervention growth incentives ahead of the 2012 Budget.
Graham Allen said:
The government has a great opportunity to not only talk the talk on Early Intervention but walk the walk too. There are no “magic bullets” in this report just a tough, practical guide to changing our spending culture from late intervention to early intervention, which has to be driven inside Whitehall by ministers and officials, and outside Whitehall by an independent Early Intervention Foundation.
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said:
Every child should be helped to develop the necessary social and emotional skills that they need to form positive relationships, to have self-confidence and to perform to the best of their abilities at school.
“We have already done a great deal to reflect our commitment to early intervention. We are recruiting 4,200 health visitors and expanding programmes such as Family Nurse Partnerships. Through establishing the £2bn a year Early Intervention Grant, we have signalled the importance of this agenda. We have committed to maintain a network of Sure Start Children’s Centres and to expand the free offer of childcare to disadvantaged two year olds, and put in place measures like the Pupil Premium. We are encouraging system reform through community budgets and payment by results. This package will ensure that children get the best opportunities early on to help them succeed in their lives. There is much innovative practice already emerging in many local areas - our challenge is how to build on that.
“Mr Allen makes a number of good and valuable recommendations. The government views these as a positive step forward and we will respond to them in due course.
Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions:
I warmly welcome this report and thank Graham for his valuable contribution and expertise to an area of policy that I think will become more important as we embark on our programme of reform. Getting Early Intervention right is crucial to breaking the inter-generational cycle of many of the social problems Britain is facing. By improving outcomes for children who have had a difficult start in life we can help them to meet their hopes and ambitions.
“Graham and I have worked together on this subject for many years and I am looking forward to seeing his proposals on social finance which opens the potential for investors, government and community organisations to work together.
Oliver Letwin, Minister for Government Policy said:
The great power of Graham’s work is that it vividly illustrates the need to put more of our effort into solving problems early and cheaply, instead of spending vast sums trying (often vainly) to cure them later. Whether you measure this in terms of human happiness or in terms of taxpayer value, earlier is better.