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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

College response to Early Intervention: The Next Steps

Embargoed until 19 January 2011

Commenting on the publication of Early Intevention: The Next Steps today (19 January 2011), Dr Margaret Murphy, chair of the RCPsych Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said:

"Research has long demonstrated the key role of responsive parenting in the emotional development of babies and young children. We therefore strongly welcome the publication of Graham Allen MP's Coalition-backed report which emphasises the importance of early intervention schemes for the first three years of a child's life.

"However, we have concerns that some recent Government decisions seem to run counter to the thrust of this report. The introduction of the Early Intervention Grant, for example, removes ring-fencing from essential early years programmes such as SureStart and represents a cut of 11% for such programmes in real terms. While the Department for Education states that it 'expects local authorities to use the funding in support of services' such as Sure Start, the new grant will mean that this and other key programmes will be required to compete for money from the same pot. If Mr Allen's report shows anything, it is surely that supporting parents in the early years of their children's lives is something we leave to the vagaries of local variation at our peril."

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896


Note to editors:

Early Intervention: The Next Steps, an independent report by Graham Allen MP, was published on 19 January 2011.


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