Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow for Women and Equality, reacting to new figures showing that 31 Sure Start Children’s Centres have closed since the General Election, said:
"This is outrageous. David Cameron and education ministers promised us they were protecting Sure Start. But now we know that is rubbish. The 20 per cent cut they imposed on the budget which funds Sure Start is hitting services hard, and they are taking away help for families at the most important time in a child's life.
"Sure Start is one of the best things the Labour government introduced - supporting young families at the very beginning of a child's life so they feel the benefits for decades to come. So much for ministers' rhetoric about early intervention. These facts show a complete betrayal of David Cameron's promise, and a betrayal of parents and toddlers who depend on Sure Start to help their family get on."
Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Children and Families Minister, said:
“This shows that David Cameron and his Government have broken their promise to parents to protect Sure Start.
“But even these figures don’t show the full picture; more Sure Start centres will be closing, and many of the centres staying open are being hollowed out, with big budget cuts meaning highly-qualified staff being made redundant and services like childcare being scaled back or removed altogether.
“If the Tory-led Government are serious about giving every child the best start in life, they need to take responsibility for the Sure Start network and ensure that no more centres close.”