Today, the Government has published their progress report on the Start for Life Vision and plans to extend Family Hubs, with a number of related publications for local authority areas, including:

  • A progress report on the best start for life vision written in consultation with Dame Andrea Leadsom MP, in her capacity as the Government’s early years advisor. The announcement confirmed the extension of Dame Andrea’s term as the Government’s early years adviser.
  • Confirmation that all 75 eligible Local Authorities (LAs) have successfully signed up to the £300 million Family Hubs and Start for Life programme announced in the autumn budget.
  • Confirmation of the announcement in the autumn budget of £10 million investment between April 2023 and March 2025 in innovative Start for Life workforce pilots in approximately 5 areas. These pilots will test ideas on how best to support the workforce to give babies the best start in life.
  • The names of 14 LAs who have been selected as trailblazer sites. These trailblazers will receive extra funding and will lead the way and support other local authorities to improve services that are offered to families, so that these can be rolled out more widely across the country.
  • Guidance for LAs on publishing their ‘Start for Life Offers’. Every local area is required to develop and make clearly accessible a coherent and joined-up Start for Life offer that sets out the support that families may need. Broadly, support will fall into 2 categories:
    • universal services – health visiting is listed as one of six essential services
    • additional, targeted or specialist services and support.
  • The funding also supports the establishing of local parent and carer panels, which will ensure that families are able to influence the improvement of Start for Life offers.
  • The names of the final five LAs enrolled on DfE’s £12 million Family Hubs Transformation Fund, building on the seven LAs that were announced last May.
  • Separately, Government is also confirming the final five areas to receive investment from the Family Hubs Transformation Fund, which will transition services which used to operate under the Sure Start banner over to the Family Hub model. This will enable a further 12 local authorities across England to open family hubs by March 2024.

Key documents published on 9 February 2023:

Other related guidance published in August 2022:


Dr Cheryll Adams CBE, Executive Director iHV, commented:

“Yesterday’s announcement of the public health grant allocations to local authorities provides a welcomed end to the lengthy period of uncertainty that has hampered service development. We hope that it will be enough to cancel immediate plans for further cuts to health visitors we have heard of from Yorkshire, London and the Midlands. Children’s potential health and wellbeing will remain at stake until a making good of the cuts to Public Health budgets over the past 5 years happens. We hope this will be announced in the next spending review.”