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Chancellor pledges £500m package to support young families including wider family hubs roll out

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced additional funds to support families and young children in his Autumn Budget statement.

A part of the package, £82m will be given to 75 local authorities to support the establishment of family hubs which provide one stop support and advice to parents and children.

The funding also includes £200m to support 300,000 families who face complex issues that could lead to family breakdown, while another £100m will go towards mental health support for expectant parents.

An additional £50m will be spent on breastfeeding support - including antenatal classes and one-to-one support - to build upon best practice from areas such as Tower Hamlets in London, which has the highest breastfeeding rates at six to eight weeks in England.

Parenting programmes will receive £50m and £10m will go to signposting the Start4Life initiative, which offers help and advice from the NHS during pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

Chief executive of the Early Intervention Foundation Jo Casebourne called the extra £200m to expand the Supporting Families programme, ‘a much-needed cash injection into a struggling system of support for children and families’. Whilst Neil Leitch, of the Early Years Alliance, said the new money was "welcome news for struggling families" but criticised the government for failing to address existing problems within the early years sector, specifically among nurseries, childminders and pre-schools.