During a parliamentary debate on early years care, Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders, speaking in his role as a Shadow Health Minister, heaped praise on Stanlaw Abbey Children’s centre.
The debate centred on the importance of the first 1001 days in the development of children and Justin paid tribute to the work of all Children’s Centres in taking a multi-agency approach to supporting parents and children. He then went on discuss the first-hand experience that he obtained about the issue while serving as a member of the Advisory Board of Stanlaw Abbey.
Justin drew attention to the “great strides made by children coming into the centre and how much progress they make” as well as “the support given to the parents, many of whom have re-entered education and the world of work, thanks to the help of the centre.”
However, he also expressed concern that cuts to local government budgets have led to 700 centres closing since 2010, which he claims represents a “real risk” to the progress that has been made.
Speaking after the debate, Justin said:
“The first two years are the period when a baby’s brain is developing at its fastest. We know that the earliest experiences have a lifelong impact on mental and emotional life. Children’s Centres can offer invaluable levels of support and help right through to school age.
I spoke about Stanlaw Abbey because I’ve spent many hours there and I know first-hand about the fantastic work that the staff do; however, I could have made the same comments about any of the Children’s Centres in Ellesmere Port & Neston.
The role that they play early on in the lives of children delivers benefits to us all and so I hope that the Government will reverse its damaging programme of cuts to Councils and instead commit to investing in the future.”