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Early intervention funding halved under coalition

Councils have cut spending on early intervention by a further eight per cent in 2015/16 on the back of funding being halved under the coalition government, CYP Now can reveal.

A joint investigation by CYP Now, the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and The Children’s Society found that the cutback in early intervention funding has been halved.

36 local authorities provided comparable data with the worst hit area in children’s centres – spending on which will drop from £265.3m in 2014/15 to £219.6m in 2015/16, a fall of 17.23 per cent.

Spending on young people’s services is in line for a 12 reduction, from £140m in 2014/15 to £122.3m in 2015/16.

Spending on family support services rises slightly by 3.69% from £247.2m in 2014/15, to £256.3m in 2015/16.

The cuts follow massive cuts to the level of government grants to pay for early intervention.

The investigation found that over the duration of the coalition government, funding for early intervention services, not including money held back by government for free childcare, fell from £3.18bn to £1.44bn, a fall of 54%.

Carey Oppenheim, chief executive of the Early Intervention Foundation, said growing demand on child protection services, combined with reductions in funding is making it difficult for local areas to invest and preserve early intervention services.

“Some local areas have responded to these funding pressures with innovative and radical plans to redesign services around children and families combining support from local authorities, schools, health, police and communities themselves,” she said.

“It is clear that with further spending reductions to come in the next few years this will need to continue and gather pace.”