Friday, September 7, 2021

Recent comments from Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP in the House of Commons have raised hopes that the early years sector may be in line for increased funding.


Promising signs throughout 2021

Spearheaded by long-time early years advocate Dame Andrea Leadsom MP, in March 2021 the Government recently published its vision for the 1,001 first critical days of life.

WAVE Trust's CEO, George Hosking OBE, joined a host of other experts as an adviser to this landmark process that produced a national stance closely in line with what our charity has been calling on for years.

This was followed in May 2021 by more good news as the Queen announced in her annual speech opening Parliament that:

Measures will be brought forward to ensure that children have the best start in life, prioritising their early years. 


Following this, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Childhood Trauma* Wera Hobhouse MP launched a Parliamentary 'Early Day Motion' calling for the Government's vision to be realised and a comprehensive approach towards tackling issues during the early years to be implemented.

By the end of July, it had received 54 signatures from MPs spanning 7 parties and sat as the 11th (out of 367) most popular motion for this session (at the time of writing, it has since reached 66 signatures).


More funding on the way?

Off the back of these promising developments, Dame Andrea Leadsom MP asked the Prime Minister a question during a debate on health and social care on 7th September 2021:

"There will be millions of people right across the country who are so relieved today that, at last, the matter of health and social care will be resolved, with fairness to everyone. Can the Prime Minister reassure the many people who are concerned about prevention? We need early intervention, providing support for families with the very youngest children in our society, so that they too can have healthy and fulfilled lives throughout the United Kingdom."

To which Boris Johnson MP replied:

"I thank my right hon. Friend for everything that she does on this issue of early years. She and I have campaigned on this together. I have listened to her attentively over many years and I know that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor is determined to ensure that we get the proper funding for early years because the investment that we make in those first three years repays society and families massively."

Though not a direct promise of additional funding, on the basis of developments over this past year and, in particular, the dedicated efforts of Dame Andrea Leadsom MP, we are hopeful that more good news is on the way. Our fingers are crossed.


Would you like to lobby your local representative in the UK or devolved Parliaments to do more to prevent trauma and boost resilience during the early years? Sign up to become a 70/30 Campaign ambassador today.


*WAVE Trust acts as Secretariat to this group.


Aidan Phillips is Trauma-informed Communities Project Manager at WAVE Trust.