Frank Field MP
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Wirral Council's Anti Poverty Strategy

Last week Wirral Council published its anti-poverty strategy.  There couldn’t be a better moment.
Unemployment in Birkenhead now equals 3,724.  The numbers of poor children have also risen. 
This is where Wirral’s anti-poverty strategy comes in.  The council’s budget has been cut by the government and the quest is on as to how to use the budget more effectively.
A Liverpool headteacher, who lives in Birkenhead, wrote to me on Monday describing the state of some children aged 3 for whom she cares.  This headteacher underscores the point I made in The Foundation Years report I submitted to the Prime Minister before Christmas.
The life chances of children are probably determined by the third birthday and are certainly decided by the fifth.  Hence the importance of moves Wirral Council have recently made.
Sure Starts will be working with Home Start who have an excellent record in reaching families for whom Sure Start and other statutory services are intended.
One can’t be surprised if people find the task of being a parent difficult for as yet no one ensures that everybody is taught how to be a good parent.
The overall aim of the programme must be to ensure that each year more children are ready to start school.  We can only be successful in this goal if we work alongside parents for it is they who spend most time with their children.
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