Charities: early intervention grant must be ring-fenced

The government must ring-fence the Early Intervention Grant or leave some of England's most vulnerable...

The government must ring-fence the early intervention grant or leave some of England’s most vulnerable children at risk, according to a taskforce of children’s charities.

A report by ACEVO, published today, has also called for improved government engagement with the voluntary sector in policy development. It also suggests a reform of public sector pensions and VAT so that voluntary organisations can compete “on a level playing field” with local council-run services.

The report sets out the key principles behind a payment by results scheme that ACEVO believes should be introduced for funding children’s centres.

Anne Longfield, chair of ACEVO’s taskforce on early years and chief executive of 4Children, said: “Government has made a commitment to making early intervention a priority, but without fundamental reform and protection of funding, we risk going into reverse rather than making progress.

“Success would mean millions of lives improved and billions saved further down the line in public spending. Failure would man a worse start in life for millions of children and taxpayers sitting on a fiscal time-bomb.”

The taskforce will be meeting with children and families minister Sarah Teather to discuss the report.

More light may be shed on the future of the early intervention grant and payment by results opportunities with the publication of Graham Allen’s second instalment of his early intervention report next week.

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