10,000 Kids' Clubs in 5 years

18th April 1997 at 01:00
(Photograph) - ANNE LONGFIELD (pictured left)

Director, Kids' Clubs Network

A lot of the political parties' priorities - such as raising achievement, cutting youth crime and getting parents back to work - could be achieved by developing the national network of Kids' Clubs that is already out there.

I see it as essential infrastructure. The costs are relatively low and the benefits to be gained are absolutely enormous.

In the long term a lot of the funding could be sought from parents, local authorities or employers. But the initiative we have today needs a much bigger boost.

If the Government put in Pounds 50 million a year, it could create 10, 000 Kids' Clubs in five years - two for every three primary schools. That would also create 30,000 jobs.

From our costings it would not only pay for itself over five years through savings in benefits and increased tax and national insurance but would give an extra Pounds 55m profit.

While kids are in clubs they have a safe place to play, they learn how to socialise, they take part in new activities and have homework support if they need it - and it allows parents to get to work.

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