The fixation of Tory leadership candidates on Brexit means they are in danger of becoming a One Notion rather than One Nation party. Putting aside the cost of crashing out, little thought is being given to what a post Brexit country might actually look like. All progressive parties should care about fairness and social mobility. Too many people’s lives are determined by the postcode they grow up in. Our recent Opposition Day Debate sought to draw attention to this and Action for Children’s excellent report entitled “Closed Doors” sheds fresh light on the problem. Twenty years ago the Labour Government set up Children’s Centres showing what progressive government can achieve. Children’s Centres support parents in offering guidance and help; they provide stimulating play for children as well as crucial help with language and communication skills. Children’s Centres are uniquely placed to help with reading and communication skills and most attendees are in pre-school years. Yet those numbers are down by over a fifth and as the number of children accessing centres falls so the developmental gap in early years schooling is growing. Here is a generation paying a price for austerity following a financial crash before they were born. The Closed Doors Report confirms there is a lack of direction from Government and a lack of resources after cuts of more than a quarter in just three years. Government must address these issues in the forthcoming Spending Review.

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