To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to ensure that the funding for new family hubs, announced in the spending review 2021, will support the local implementation of the Speech, Language and Communication Pathway, as set out in the Public Health England publication, Best start in speech, language and communication: Guidance to support local commissioners and service leads.
1 April 2022
The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) has been working in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) since 2018 to help to ensure speech, language and communication needs are identified and supported early on. The government published “Best start in speech, language and communication guidance for local areas” in 2020, aimed at supporting a whole systems approach to addressing speech, language and communication needs in the early years.
At the Budget, the government announced a £300 million package to transform services for parents, carers, babies and children in half of council areas across England, including a network of family hubs.
Family hubs have a clear role to play in supporting early language development, including through the creation of joined up local services such as those exemplified by the 2020 guidance. The government will work on this basis with the local authorities that are part of the programme once these are confirmed.