A Stitch in Time Campaign for greater investment in early support

Providing early support for children will help prevent problems now and give them the chance of the best possible future

dad and son huggingMost problems that children and their families face do not occur overnight - they build up over time. However, our public services are only designed to offer support when problems reach a certain level, such as when a child is self-harming or when a parent is struggling with ill health. That's why ahead of the general election we ran the A Stitch in Time campaign with Action for Children, Barnardo's and The Children's Society. 

Offering help at this stage can only lessen the impact of issues that, in cases of child abuse or neglect for example, will continue to influence a person's life long after the event has passed.

What we called for

We - Action for Children, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society and NSPCC - called on the new government to commit to actions that will improve early support.

A responsible government must invest in services and support that prevent problems before they start, to improve the lives of children and families - and save money for taxpayers in the long run. That is why we called on all political parties to make a commitment to shift the emphasis of public services to early support.

Early support means ensuring early access to services that:

    • educate and improve the wellbeing of young people
    • support new parents
    • help toddlers develop
    • address signs of abuse and neglect.

It costs £2,700 to teach a child to read, but around £50,000 to support an adult who can't.
- The Long-term Costs of Literacy Difficulties, KMPG Foundation

girl smilingProviding early support for children means being there to help prevent problems now and giving them the chance of the best possible future. We want to put a stop to cases of:

  • the unemployed young man who has no qualifications because he skipped school when he was a child
  • the mother who neglects her home and children as a result of depression after setbacks such as a difficult pregnancy, redundancy, or a relationship breakdown

  • the young woman who’s left homeless after leaving care with no family to teach her basic life skills, such as budgeting to afford rent


Visit the 'A Stitch in Time' website to learn more about our case for early support.

Learn more about the case for early support