Area-based, inclusive and open access services in a welcoming space. Practical support to improve parents’ headspace. Well-funded welfare to reduce family stress. These are some of the vital aspects of a system to improve outcomes for children living in low-income setting.
In this episode, we speak with Naomi Eisenstadt. She was director of the Sure Start programme in England between 1999 and 2006. It was a ground-breaking and very popular scheme that provided a whole host of services to children and their parents in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The programme had many successes, such as improving health outcomes for children but was also expensive, and eventually it was reshaped to a much more targeted intervention.
We talk about the need for policies to do two things for families: reduce pressures and increase capabilities. Yet, at present, there is too much focus on behaviour rather than the context in which parents try to do the best they can. Austerity has reduced benefits and increased pressures with limited investment in creating possibilities.
Find out more about the book ‘Poverty, Parents and the State’ – mentioned in the episode – here.
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