The Government has announced the 75 upper tier local authorities that are eligible to receive funding from the £301.75 million Family Hubs and Start for Life programme. The three Stoke-on-Trent MPs have welcomed the news that Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been successfully picked as one of the 75 local authorities.
Jack Brereton MP, Stoke-on-Trent South said:
“People across Stoke-on-Trent will be aware of our constant efforts to level up our great city and provide residents with more support and opportunities. To hear that Stoke-on-Trent has been picked as one of the successful areas eligible to receive funding from the Government’s Family Hubs and Start for Life programme is extremely welcome news.
“We must ensure that families across the city have the support and services they need. This will help us offer our youngest residents the best start in life and help them move forward with greater hope. I want to see those born and raised in our city given the best possible opportunities and we must start by ensuring we have a loving, supporting family for every child.”
Jonathan Gullis MP, said:
“This is more excellent news for families across Stoke-on-Trent. Family Hubs will go much further than their predecessor, helping 0-19 year olds, as well as helping parents and carers with the targeted support they need.
“The Family Hubs compliments that we are also a priority Education Investment Area, bringing additional funding to help improve education across the city, have a new specialist 16-19 free school and retain and attract some of the best teaching talent across the country.
“Jack, Jo, Cllr Evans and I have lobbied continuously to make sure Stoke-on-Trent secured this funding, making sure we can provide the people and support needed to those who need it most.”
Jo Gideon MP, said:
“I am delighted by the news that the Government has chosen Stoke-on-Trent to benefit from the ‘family hub’ funding. The application has had my full support, and I am thrilled that our lobbying of Government Ministers on behalf of Stoke-on-Trent has been met with success.
“The funding will provide a much-needed network of support for families and children, from the earliest stages, in the heart of our community. Supporting and investing in Stoke-on-Trent’s children, young people and families remains a priority and this funding will be vital in continuing our effort to level up and see our local life outcomes improve. I look forward to working with the City Council and Department for Education to see these hubs thrive.”
The Government has selected the successful local authorities (LAs) by using a metrics-based formula to target deprivation in support of levelling up; while ensuring they are learning about implementation in different local contexts. LAs are selected in rank order using Income Deprivation Affecting Children Indices (IDACI) – Average Rank, ensuring a minimum of 25% of LAs from each rural urban classification are included.
The local changes across all 75 areas will differ. Local services, rightly, reflect the needs of local people, so each area has a different starting point. The family hubs element of the package is “transformation funding”, to support LAs with the cost of moving to, or building on, a family hub model. This has been designed learning from the experience of LAs that have already opened hubs. Funding could be used, for example, to pay for a dedicated team in the LA, for workforce development etc; there will also be some capital to adapt buildings or support multi-agency working.
Officials will now work with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, to agree detailed proposals of the programme. Once this stage is complete and funding confirmed, the Council will have a clear plan for change, including a timeline for hubs to open. This likely to include working with a range of key organisations and communities across the city to best support the needs of our families.
Residents may be asking what these Family Hubs will offer for areas like Stoke-on-Trent. Family hubs are one-stop-shops where families can access important services. An effective family hub acts a single ‘front door’, making it easier for families to get the help they need, and to improve the support on offer. Family hubs are for families with children of all ages, but with a great Start for Life (the critical 1001 days from conception to age 2) offer at their core.
In the successful LAs, like Stoke-on-Trent, the Government will also be providing additional funding for perinatal mental health and parent-infant relationships; help with breastfeeding; and parenting programmes, accessible through the family hub.