Number Ten makes Allen wait for early intervention cash


The Government has not yet made a decision as to whether to provide joint funding to establish an Early Intervention Foundation.

A key recommendation in MP Graham Allen’s second report into early intervention is that the Government co-fund the £20m necessary to sustain the foundation, with the remaining additional investment expected to come from private, local and philanthropic sources.

According to The Guardian, Mr Allen is understood to have visited Downing Street in person to make a request for £10m to set up the Early Intervention Foundation, but was told to return later in the year to see if the Government money was still needed.

The Government’s official response to Mr Allen’s report is not due until the autumn.

In his report Mr Allen calls for a one per cent shift in Government spending from late intervention - such as spending on unemployment - to early intervention.

Venture philanthropy organisation the Impetus Trust said that Government funding was necessary to help generate private investment.

The trust’s investment director, Elly De Decker, said, ‘Allen’s push to encourage the Government to "walk the walk" on early intervention is crucial if we are to provide services that can increase the quality of life for so many children at a large enough scale to make a substantial difference.

‘This groundbreaking report offers a challenge to the practitioner and venture philanthropy community. While it is in tune with the approach of the Government generally in seeking to establish payment by results and other new financial mechanisms to fund early intervention services, local authorities are already squeezed and few will be able to provide the up-front costs associated with developing investment-ready early intervention agencies. Without significant additional work on the sorts of results and the timeframes that Government may be prepared to pay for, it will be difficult to generate the required private investment.’

She added, ‘That is why the next stage should be for the Government to work with the practitioner and social investment community (of which venture philanthropy is a crucial component) to examine not only the case for early intervention, but the level of payment by result in a given intervention area and the support structures that need to be invested in, if we are to enable these vital early intervention services to be delivered to scale.’

The National Day Nurseries Association said that the report set out a clear case for the benefits of investment in early intervention.

Chief executive Purnima Tanuku said, ‘For many years, nurseries have been proactively identifying the needs of children and already play a significant role in delivering early intervention. As Graham Allen shows, early intervention offers a huge range of cost-effective benefits and helps ensure that children grow up to achieve their full potential. NDNA fully agrees that there needs to be a step-change in attitudes, and that society must change its "late reaction" culture which costs more long-term than providing support early on when it is needed.’


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