Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Invest in our children – Tessa Jowell [March 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 11 March 1998.

A national strategy for young children to increase the visibility of young children and improve services to prevent them from becoming socially excluded is being considered by Government, Tessa Jowell said today.

The strategy is one of the options being considered by the Government’s Review of Provision for Young Children. It would set out national aims and objectives and also a framework for planning at the local level.

The review is considering whether the multiple causes of social exclusion affecting young children could be more effectively tackled at the family and community level.

Ms Jowell, in her role as Chair of the Review, was speaking at the third and final seminar attended by Government, local authorities, universities and voluntary organisations. The seminars have been held to ensure that the best information is available to inform decisions.

Speaking at the seminar, the Minister said:

“At present, we are failing too many of our children before they even reach school. It must be a priority  to invest in all our young children, and to work with parents and local communities, so they can reach their full potential later in life.

“I want to see a national strategy for young children which ensures resources, across Government, are properly targeted and used effectively and which put the welfare of the child first. We need to move to a situation where the root causes of social exclusion are tackled early on, preventing the problems faced by young children and their families from causing irreversible damage. This would be both more cost-effective and better for our children.”

The Treasury is leading the Review at official level in close collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Social Exclusion Unit and other Government Departments e.g. the Department for Education and Employment and the Department  for Health.