The Sure Start programme had long-lasting health benefits for children including reducing hospitalisation later in life, new research on the early years scheme has found. New Labour’s flagship early years programme, which reached its peak in 2010 when it received £1.8bn in funding per year, “had long-term benefits for children’s health, lasting almost a decade after children have ‘aged out’ of eligibility”, a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) states. The study, which focuses on the programme during the 2000s, during its expansion, provides the first evidence of how this major initiative affected children’s health up to age 15. Despite an increase in hospitalisations for children under one when it first launched, Sure Start led to a seven per cent drop in hospitalisations for under-fives by 2010. Read more.