Early Intervention: The Next Steps

Author: Graham Allen MP

Institution: HM Government

Full reference: Allen, G. (2011) Early Intervention: The Next Steps. An Independent Report to HM Government. London: Cabinet Office


This report sets out a case for rebalancing of the approach to social problems towards an Early Years Intervention culture, emphasising primary prevention strategies. It discusses the science behind early intervention, reviews evidence of the positive contribution that Early Years Intervention can make to children’s social and emotional development and presents arguments for the cost-effectiveness of spending on early intervention measures. The report makes proposals for building on effective existing provision. It outlines a methodology for identifying the most effective programmes, based on strength of evidence, and by this means identifies a top list of 19 successful and cost-effective programmes, headed by the Family Nurse Partnership.

The prime recommendation of the report is the creation of a new, independent Early Intervention Foundation supported through private, philanthropic, ethical and local funding. Other recommendations include a new National Parenting Campaign; regular assessments of all pre-school children and the setting up of 15 local Early Intervention Places. The report also proposes that the Department for Education and the Department of Health should set up a Workforce Development strategy to increase the level of well-qualified leaders working in early years and to ensure an Early Years Professional is placed in every early years setting.

The author stresses that a successful Early Years Intervention strategy depends on sustainability. He urges cross-party commitment to ensuring long-term stability in the settlement of powers between local and central government in this are.

Download the report.