Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, responds to a report from the Children’s Commissioner warning that too many vulnerable young children are missing out on the vital speech and language help they need to get ready for school.
Responding to a report from the Children’s Commissioner warning that too many vulnerable young children are missing out on the vital speech and language help they need to get ready for school, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Good quality early years and education, with a focus on key early language and literacy skills, is essential in making sure that children get the best start in life and begin school ready to thrive.
“However significant financial pressures on councils’ public health and special needs budgets is severely impacting on their ability to support children with early language development.
“Public health budgets have been cut by £700 million while councils face a special needs funding gap of up to £1.6 billion by 2021, which we urge the Government to address in the Spending Review.
“Councils are also working closely with local early education and childcare providers and Clinical Commissioning Groups to make sure children are ready to start school, but insufficient funding is impacting on the quality of provision and support for children with special needs, as providers struggle to balance budgets.”
Notes to editors
Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025. The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils. Visit our campaign page for more information - www.local.gov.uk/spending-review-2019