Sure Start changed my life. Pregnant at 16, I was out of school and about to be a parent. I felt embarrassed asking friends and family for help, worrying I wouldn’t be a good mother.
Then I took a parenting course at one of Labour’s new children’s centres. I learned how to cuddle my son, read to him, make sure he had the right food. That might seem simple, but it wasn’t obvious to me.
It meant my son had a better start in life than I’d had. It helped to break the cycle, and it helped turn my life around too.
Taking that course showed me not just how to look after my son, but that I could learn, and there was more out there.
That investment in me has been paid back many times over. The evidence shows that’s true for many others too. It’s why it’s heart-breaking to see what’s happened to Sure Start under the Tories.
For years they’ve twisted and squirmed, denying the impact of their cuts. Now, we’ve finally got the truth out of them.
Since they took power, over a third of Sure Start centres, more than 1200, have been lost.
The Welsh Labour Government still runs a full service called Flying Start, while Labour councils have done everything to protect their local centres.
But in some areas of England, there are now barely a handful left.
While the Tories handed billions to big business and the banks, our kids paid the price for austerity.
I’m devastated we’re not in government to change that. But in Opposition we must stand up, speak out and fight back.
The PM wants us to believe that austerity is over. These cuts need to be exposed and opposed.
That’s how parents will know we’re on their side, and the difference Labour can make.
I know politics can seem distant. But take it from me – it could change your life.