No pre-school, no child benefit, Tory thinktank says – but Tories have been closing Sure Start

Apparently this idea comes from a Tory think tank called ‘Bright Blue’. It doesn’t seem so bright to This Writer.

Firstly, there is the question of whether sending a young child to pre-school education is worth it, both in terms of the youngster’s development and the expenses incurred by the parent. What’s the point of having child benefit if pre-school education costs more?

Secondly, there is the fact that Sure Start centres are being closed by the Conservative Government. It seems that more than 700 have been closed between May 2010, when the Conservatives took office as part of the Coalition Government, and February this year.

Labour has predicted that Conservative Government policies will lead to the closure of 1,000 more by 2020.

It is against this background that the ‘Bright Blue’ proposal to sanction parents if they don’t send their child to Sure Start centres must be measured.

It’s nonsense, isn’t it?

Parents should be denied child benefit if they do not send their children to pre-school education from the age of three, according to an increasingly influential Conservative pressure group.

The penalty should apply to a parent in the case of a child aged two if the toddler comes from a disadvantaged background, the new counter-poverty strategy suggests.

The proposed loss of child benefit is set out in a pamphlet by Bright Blue, a liberal Conservative pressure group and thinktank, and is designed to ensure disadvantaged children go to Sure Start centres to make them ready for school.

Bright Blue says it is essential to seek new ways to persuade parents to send their children to Sure Start centres.

It argues that just as the government is planning to withdraw child benefit from parents of truanting children, so the same disincentives should apply to parents that do not take up the opportunity of free pre-school education. Ministers have said they are doubling the amount of free pre-school childcare or education to 30 hours a week.

The proposal is bound to be attacked by Labour as another assault on the poor and comes in the wake of controversy over the loss of tax credits. A survey last year by a children’s charity found that many Sure Start centre face closure because of budget cuts with £830m less being spent on them in the three years from 2011-12.

Source: No pre-school, no child benefit, Tory thinktank says in report on poverty | Politics | The Guardian

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11 thoughts on “No pre-school, no child benefit, Tory thinktank says – but Tories have been closing Sure Start

  1. wildswimmerpete

    When I was an infant during the early 1950s the starting age for infant school was five (although i actually began school at 4). In those days youngsters were allowed to enjoy their infant-hood. Not like now where the State indoctrination starts as soon a baby can walk.

  2. LilacWhispers

    I don’t think it’s just a matter of the Tories trying to save money – I think it’s a lot more sinister than that. Is it any coincidence that President Obama said last week that he wants six million 3 and 4 year old children in preschool by the end of the decade, and a week later, the Tories are saying more or less the same thing? Both plans are not good for the children (as they should, wherever possible, be with their mothers at such a tender age), and they give both governments the opportunity to indoctrinate the children. Consider the following quotes:
    “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.” Karl Marx.
    “Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” Josef Stalin.
    Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Lenin.
    “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” Aristotle.
    “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
    There are echoes of the Hitler Youth organisation of the Nazi Party here, too.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m not entirely sure I agree. The Aristotle quote seems closest to reality, if you accept that he’s saying all the qualities of the future adult will be visible in the child once they have reached that age – but I don’t accept that state systems can brainwash any but the most weak-minded, even at a tender age. Most of my early school years were spent kicking against any such indoctrination (although I wouldn’t have recognised it as that at the time).

  3. hugosmum70

    mike. sorry to put this in here but at a loss to know where else i can put it. im going to have to stop following your blog. i don’t want to , i find it interesting and informative and a lot of the subjects are close to my heart but im sick to death of having to go to the subscription management page every time i try to comment. so no more. i do not have the time to be doing that. all i want is to be notified when someone answers my comment or the subject altogether.l do not have the time to spend time, time and time again clicking to go to this silly page to SUBSCRIBE. if i hadn’t wanted to subscribe to your page i would not be following let alone commenting on it. sorry. thanks for putting up with me so far.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It might actually be you or your settings. Mine say readers don’t have to be logged in/registered to comment so you shouldn’t have any problem!

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