Sure Start 'should be axed', think tank urges

Sure Start should be scrapped and replaced with local government initiatives to help disadvantaged children, the Centre for Policy Studies has said.

The right-wing think tank set out its proposals in a review of the government Children's Plan which it published last week.

The report argues that, rather than helping parents of the most disadvantaged children, Sure Start now offers services to all families in England. There is also a lack of evidence for the benefits of Sure Start, a report said.

Scrapping Sure Start would, it argues, save the government £800m.

The report argues that most of the programme in the government's Children's Plan are ‘flawed both in concept and in practice'.

Jill Kirby, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said the Children's Plan was ‘a classic example of the failings of big government', with ‘billions of pounds wasted in pursuit of central targets, based on untested ideas and packaged in jargon and bureaucracy'.

'The sooner these grandiose plans are abandoned in favour of practical, localised support to the most needy families, the better,' she said.

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