asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to improve the level of public services available to vulnerable infants in need of child education welfare services, with a view to reducing the risk of longer-term anti-social behaviour or violent behaviour. [HL5665]
Over the financial years 2008-11, the Government are investing over £3 billion in Sure Start children's centres for children under five and their families. The greater part of this investment is intended for intensive support to families in the most disadvantaged communities and those children who face the greatest risk of poor outcomes in life. Children's centres provide a range of services for families with young children, including parenting and family support, social care services, integrated early learning and daycare, health services and advice and information on training and employment for parents. There are currently 2,900 centres and by 2010 there will be over 3,500—one for every community. The national evaluation of Sure Start shows that Sure Start is beginning to have real and demonstrable benefits, helping improve parenting and lay the foundations for children's happiness, well-being and future success. In addition, as part of the roll-out of intensive family support announced in the Youth Crime Action Plan, some local authorities may develop family intervention projects to support vulnerable families with young children. This will promote positive outcomes for children and families and help prevent future problems such as anti-social behaviour and offending.