Best Start in Life

Too many children are missing out on the #BestStart in life.

Sign our petition to pressure the Government to take urgent action.

Sign our petition


Up and down the country, support for families from poor backgrounds is disappearing.

Children's centres - vital hubs of support for families - are closing at a rate of one a week while spending on children’s centres has fallen nearly 50% between 2010 and 2016.


In many cases, these services support families who are already struggling; parents with mental health issues, children living in poor housing, families struggling with money or people whose own childhood experiences affect their parenting.

They are a lifeline for many people. A lifeline that is being hollowed out, fragmented and cut.

And poorer children are bearing the brunt. The Government pledged to give all children the best start in life, but nearly half have fallen behind by age five.

We can’t afford to turn our backs on the problem that leaves poor children missing out on the best start in life and parents without the support they need.

The Government pledged to give all children the best start in life, but nearly half from poorer backgrounds have fallen behind by age five.

The Government needs to take urgent action. The responsible Department – the Department for Education - must provide clear vision and leadership.

At Action for Children, we’ve set ourselves a goal. Over the next six months, we must get the Government to recognise the problem that leaves many children falling behind. 

We need to apply urgent pressure.

Sign our petition to Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, to urgently take steps to produce a bold vision for the services that support families and children in the earliest years of their lives.

Sign our petition


We have designed a booklet for people across England to advocate for and defend their own early years services in their area.

Throughout this booklet we provide information on why local authorities are having to cut services, the role of central government and what you can do to help defend the local support you are passionate about. 

Download our booklet