One of the best initiatives taken by the Government since 1997 was the introduction and spread of Sure Start Children’s Centres. While I was your MP, I saw nearly every part of Bedford and Kempston served by one.
Sure Start Centres provide an excellent service which meets the needs of young children and their families. A wide range of services are offered, not only early learning for toddlers, but family support, health, financial and training advice.
As your MP, I visited all of the Sure Start Centres in Bedford. I was always met by a warm, positive, and friendly atmosphere. Speaking to many parents, I heard great praise for the value of the support offered, the sociable atmosphere, and the professionalism of the staff.
Under the Conservatives, Sure Start Centres have been under attack. In spite of promising to protect Sure Start, David Cameron has presided over the closure of more than four hundred Sure Start Centres since he became Prime Minister in 2010. Funding for these valuable children centres has been cut by a third, which is already having a devastating impact on families.