Parents consulted over £250 top-up for seven-year olds

Children born after September 2002 could receive a payment of at
least £250 when they reach seven years old as part of the
Government’s Child Trust Fund scheme under government

Children would receive the top-up payment in addition to the
£250 they will get at birth. Children from low-income families
will get £500 at birth and a £500 top-up at seven.

Chancellor Gordon Brown met with parents, children and childcare
providers in England and Wales last week to discuss the possible
top-up payment and to promote this month’s launch of the
Child Trust Fund, part of the Government’s 10-year strategy
for childcare.

Speaking at the Pinehurst and Penhill Sure Start Centre in
Swindon, he said: “I want the Child Trust Fund to ensure
that, at 18, every child will have some wealth from which to plan
their adult future.”

He added: “We are the first government to launch a
nationwide consultation to engage parents in planning the next
stage of childcare and children’s services, providing parents
not just with choice in provision but a voice in the design of that

While there is widespread support for Brown’s childcare
strategy, believed to be a keystone of the next election campaign,
it received heavy criticism last week from Sure Start’s
creator, Norman Glass. Writing in the Guardian he described
Brown’s plans as “all smoke and mirrors”, saying
that it would be impossible for the Government to meet its
childcare targets without raising taxes.

The consultation period for Labour’s 10-year childcare
strategy, which was unveiled last month, runs until 24

The Government’s pre-Budget report “Choice for
parents, the best start for children: a ten year strategy for
childcare” can be accessed at

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