Half of children ‘playing catch up’ as SureStart closures hit Croydon

 In Croydon, News

Croydon North MP Steve Reed has accused the Conservatives of leaving a generation of children playing catch-up after new figures emerged showing nearly half of Croydon’s children are not ready to start school at five years old.

A new report from Public Health England says that just 56.5% of Croydon’s children are considered ready for school – leaving the borough ranked fifth worst in London.

Research by Steve Reed MP also shows the unfair impact on Croydon of cuts to children’s centres which help children develop and prepare for school.

Cuts by both the Conservative government and the previous Conservative administration in Croydon have led to the loss of 70% of SureStart centres in the borough; there were 28 dedicated children’s centres in Croydon in 2010, and just 8 left by 2014.

Meanwhile, Lewisham – ranked best in London for school readiness – has lost just 2 centres.

Steve Reed MP said: “It is appalling that nearly half of Croydon’s children have been left playing catch up with their peers.

“Time and time again research has shown that investment in early-years development – through centres such as SureStart, which Labour introduced – is the best way to ensure a fair start in life.

“We now see what happens when you take that support away from a generation of children.”