Other Funding Opportunities
Autumn Budget 2021
In the Autumn Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced a spending package of £300 million for early years services and Family Hubs. £82 million, from 2021-4, is specifically for the creation of new Family Hubs in 75 local authorities, who will also receive a portion of the £300 million early years budget.
The government has not yet announced how this money will be bid for or received by local authorities, but more information will be forthcoming this year.
In November 2021, the Department for Education unveiled the £12 million Transformation Fund, to facilitate the rollout of Family Hubs in at least 12 local authorities. Applications for this pilot scheme closed in December 2021, with the successful local authorities due to be announced later in 2022.
Regional Recovery Fund
In July 2021, the Department for Education announced funding for each of the UK’s Regional Improvement and Innovation Alliances, aimed at “levelling up outcomes for vulnerable children”. Of the £24 million total, £3.2 million was dedicated to Family Hubs: £1 million for nine local authorities to share good practice, and £2.2 million to accelerate the opening of Family Hubs in 25 local areas. There is no bidding process available for this fund.
Community Renewal Fund
In March 2021 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government introduced the £220 million UK Community Renewal Fund (CRF) to support the people and communities most in need across the UK. This 90% revenue funding aimed to support local communities as part of the Government’s efforts to ‘level up’. The CRF is intended to support and incentivise communities to launch new programmes and approaches as a precursor to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, a flagship policy that will be introduced in 2022 to deliver on the Government’s commitment to level up the country.
This opportunity enabled local authorities, including constituency MPs, to obtain funding to implement Family Hubs as part of a bigger package of measures: transforming the service provision landscape to create better awareness of and access to family support that is more effective, integrated and helps whole families, and building stronger and more resilient communities.
Since the focus was to address communities most in need, bids from these 100 priority places identified by the Government were prioritised. All bids had to demonstrate that they built upon local knowledge, had long-term strategic plans for growth and targeted people most in need. Bids had to be submitted by 18 June 2021 and the CRF will finish on 31 March 2022.
‘Growing Up Well’ project
In February 2021, the Department for Education announced its Family Hubs – Growing Up Well project to improve outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable children from conception to five across education, health and social care. The initial £1.7m capacity and transformation grant, funded at Spending Round 2020 as part of the Shared Outcomes fund, is being shared by five local authorities- Lancashire, Bristol City, Salford, Tower Hamlets and Suffolk- to engage in a digital discovery process.
An additional £10million, part of the Second Round of the Shared Outcomes Fund, was added to the project in August 2021 which will provide capacity-building for the five local authorities and the Department for Education digital specialists as they develop digital and data products to improve how early years professionals collaborate and plan around families, with a focus on information sharing. The new products will have the potential to be replicated in local authorities around the country.
Evaluation Innovation Fund
The Department for Education launched the Family Hub Evaluation Innovation Fund of up to £400,000 to design and deliver evaluations of Family Hubs’ effectiveness and value for money. It was aimed at research suppliers/consortiums, who would work with named Family Hubs to produce an Expression of Interest, an evaluation and a service-level agreement. Published on 10 December 2020 with a deadline of 13 January 2021, it is expected to be delivered between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.