Issue details

23/00082 - Home Learning Environment - Family Hubs funding


Proposed decision

1)   Approve the service development and activity increases for Early Language and Home Learning Environment, as part of ongoing development and improvement work, making use of Family Hub Grant funding where this aligns to KCC’s existing Start for Life commitments.


2). Approve the required expenditure to deliver this activity via Family Hub Grant funding up to £1,325,435 for the period ending April 2025.


3). Delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services and the Director of Public Health, to take necessary actions, including but not limited to allocating resources, expenditure, entering into contracts and other legal agreements, as required to implement the decision.


Reason for the decision

KCC (Kent County Council) is seeking to implement a Family Hubs model in line with the standards set by the Department for Education (DfE). The funding has been granted with a provision that a certain allocation as outlined by the DfE will be spent on Early Language and the Home Learning Environment. This decision is for the agreed allocation and expenditure of £1,010,375for financial year 2023-2024 and the allocation of £241,200 for financial year 2024/2025.



The Family Hub model is committed to delivering high quality services for babies, children, young people, and families by ensuring an extensive range of partner and community services working collaboratively to deliver the best outcomes in person, virtually or through outreach. KCC is an agreed “trailblazer” in this nationwide change.

Early language acquisition impacts on all aspects of babies’ and young children’s non-physical development. HLE covers the interactions parents have in and around the home with their children from birth. The quality of the HLE is a key predictor of a baby’s and child’s early language ability and future success.

The Family Hub funding for Early Language and HLE will be used to:

·       Train practitioners to support parents with the HLE, which will support educational recovery and improve school readiness.

·       Use evidence based interventions

·       Family Hub practitioners in the network are eligible for training.

·       To ensure sustainability beyond the funding, a Train the Trainer model will be used where relevant.

·       Parents of 3-4 year olds are eligible for the interventions.

·       To ensure a collaborative approach with existing Open Access Early Years workers and maintain a pathway of support for babies and children from 0-4 years.


Options (other options considered but discarded)


Additional options have not been considered at this stage as the fund amount allocated above has been determined by DfE to be spent on Early Language and The Home Learning Environment, previous Key Decisions were agreed to agree to the funding for the Family Hubs programme and this is the next stage of development for that agreement.


We were bound by the DfE to use evidence based interventions. We considered the options and are going to move forward with Early Talk Boost, Early Words Together, Making it REAL (PEAL), alongside including digital support e.g. Easy Peasy app, BBC sites


·    How the proposed decision supports the Interim Strategic Plan:


The DfE Family Hub model fits perfectly into KCC’s ‘Framing Kent’s Future’ strategic vison for children, young people, and families. It also supports the wider national and community challenges following the pandemic.


Data Protection implications



Financial Implications

A total of £480,582 for Early Language and the Home Learning Environment has been agreed to be carried over into financial year 2023/24. This is in agreement with the DfE with the assurance it will be spent in the current financial year.


Programme Strand

Year 1 Grant

Year 1 Actuals

Roll forward from yr. 1 into yr. 2

Year 2 Grant

Year 3 Grant








Early Language and Home Learning Environment?








Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/09/2023

Decision due: Not before 10th Oct 2023 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Reason: To allow the required 28 day notice period under Executive Decision arrangements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Lead director: Carolann James

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Danielle Day, Programme Manager Email:

Consultation process

Has any public consultation been undertaken or is any planned?


A public consultation completed on 13th September.


Cabinet Committee consultation planned: 


The Children’s and Young People Cabinet Committee considered and endorsed the decision on 12 September 2023.


Which Divisions / Local Members are particularly affected: All


Have views been sought from local Members?

N/A – County wide


Financial implications: Financial implications included in the description.

Legal implications: The Council has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the DfE which creates obligations to meet specific deadlines and timescales set by them or risk losing further funding or funding claw back. Access to the associated funding of up to £11m, depending on the type and level of transformation activity eventually progressed, is conditional on compliance with the terms of the MoU and demonstration of progress toward an effective Family Hub Model.

Equalities implications: Initial assessment and attached Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) has identified minimal negative implications. Funding for these workstreams will enable transformation activity to enhance, improve and add to existing provision.