Childcare campaigners have welcomed comments by the head of the Metropolitan Police in support of Sure Start children’s centres.
In an interview with ITV London, Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said that high-quality childcare, such as schemes offered through Sure Start, were “equally important” in the fight against crime as police work.
While police work can suppress crime, he said, long-term support through initiatives like Sure Start is needed to tackle the root cause.
He said: “We need long-term activity, using the facilities that are already in place, making sure that things such as Sure Start are there and available to the right families to give them support when they need that support.”
Alison Garnham, chief executive of Daycare Trust, said the charity “warmly welcomes” his comments.
She said: “There is strong evidence that investing in the early years improves children’s outcomes and it is excellent to see this recognised by such a senior public figure.”
Sir Paul’s comments come a week after Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that the reach of children’s centres could be limited to the poorest families.
Garnham added: “Children benefit from mixed environments and, therefore, it is essential that Sure Start remains a universal service, accessible to all children and parents.”
What impact do you think Sure Start children’s centres have on the behaviour of young children? Do you agree with Cameron’s suggestion that the centres should be limited to the poorest families? Join the discussion by leaving your comments below!