Frequently asked questions on the Early Intervention Grant.

 Why was the Early Intervention Grant created?

Intervening early is the best way of preventing bigger and more expensive problems later on. There is immense potential in combining a reduction in central prescription with a stronger focus on what works for different localities. Investing in early intervention – acting more strategically and targeting investment early – demands strong local leadership at a time when budgets are under pressure. But it is essential if we are to secure better results and life chances for children, young people and families.

The Early Intervention Grant (EIG) replaced a number of centrally directed grants to support services for children, young people and families. The grant is not ring-fenced, allowing greater flexibility and freedom at local level, to respond to local needs, drive reform and promote early intervention more effectively.

 How much is in the Early Intervention Grant?

In 2011-12, £2223 million was allocated to local authorities in England through the Early Intervention Grant. This figure was amended during the year in recognition of pilot activity undertaken in LAs – taking the total amount of funding to £2235 million.

In 2012-13, £2365 million has been allocated to local authorities in England. Funding for pilot activity for 2012-13 has not yet been confirmed and is not represented in this figure, which will change throughout the year as pilot funding is added.

The EIG can support a full range of services for children, young people and families, which, subject to local decision making, may include:

 How can changes occur in the EIG funding total during the financial year?

The Department recognises that there is a cost associated with the delivery of new policies, objectives and pilot activities and will therefore increase relevant local authorities' EIG allocations from time to time in-year as appropriate. This does not affect the terms of the grant; the EIG remains unringfenced.

 What can the Early Intervention Grant be spent on?

The Government has made clear that the most effective use of this money is for local authorities to determine.

 Where can I find information on the Early intervention Grant and free early education places for disadvantaged two-year-olds?

Information regarding the EIG and the free early education places for disadvantaged two-year-olds can be found on this website.

 What does the Early Intervention Grant mean for LAs?

Local authorities now have greater freedom and flexibility in how they spend the money they receive from central government. They have been freed from unnecessary bureaucracy and intrusive Whitehall performance targets. Local authorities will have a stronger role in commissioning services and only providing services themselves as a last resort. Underpinning this, they will want to ensure that resources are targeted carefully to ensure that those children, young people and families who need it most receive extra support. 

 Is funding for Sure Start ring-fenced?

No. We have ensured there is sufficient money in the EIG to retain the network of Sure Start children’s centres, accessible to all but identifying and supporting families in greatest need. Local authorities continue to have duties under the Childcare Act 2006 to consult before opening, closing or significantly changing children’s centres and to secure sufficient children’s centre provision to meet local need, as far as is reasonably practicable. Some 4200 health visitors, working alongside outreach and family support workers, will enable stronger links with local health services.

We want local authorities to be more transparent about what they are spending on children's centres so they can be held to account locally.

 How were LA allocations calculated?

The grant has been allocated using a combination of two of the Department’s existing formulae – one for early years services and a second one for youth services.

 Is there any impact on the statutory duties that local authorities have to perform following the introduction of the Early Intervention Grant?

No, local authorities have various statutory duties they are required to fulfil and they are unaffected by the introduction of the Early Intervention Grant.

 Can EIG be carried forward from one year to the next?

EIG is not ringfenced and it is for each local authority to decide how to use the funding. There is no requirement to report expenditure at year end and the Department will not be recovering underspends in relation to this particular grant.