In response to Meredith Brent: How Sure Start has poured billions down the drain,

Rebecca DÁmato wrote:

In the exact same way that Labour import voters, they also create them by setting up initatives like Sure Start. They are staffed with people who are always nice but dim, and the ‘help’ (I use that word very loosely) they are able to give is done via box-ticking exercises. I visited one or two of these centres when I was a social worker, they were nothing more than a place to socialise for middle-class mums, while anybody who might have benefited (if there was anything to benefit from – there isn’t) couldn’t be bothered dragging their carcases out from in front of the XBox.

At best it’s yet another signposting service, when there was never any evidence that the thousands of them that were already in existence had any positive impact.

Google/Yellow Pages does the same job for free.

Roy Davey-Jenkins wrote:

‘Sure Start was launched . . . with the aim of improving the health and development of pre-school children.’

That used to be done in stable families; you know, the old-fashioned father/mother idea!

Then ‘progressive’ schemes came along, like this Sure Start one, which was no more than a sort of surrogate parenthood, as the mother had been dragged away to a ‘glittering’ career and the solid presence of a father in the home had been more or less denigrated as not essential.

It’s time to ‘regress’ surely, and spend time and money strengthening the traditional family via speaking well of it, extolling its proven worth, upholding its values, financially supporting its very concept.

A stable, loving family unit is the surest start for any child.

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