With the autumn budget and spending review coming up, Chancellor Rishi Sunak met with some of the young families who are set to receive extra support.
He played games with the children and smiled as he greeted their soft toys.
Mr Sunak posed with puppet pandas and teddies as he spoke to their parents.
And Mr Sunak is set to pull a £500 million rabbit out of his hat to support these young families and announce a range of investments to give children the ‘best possible start in life’.
He will make the announcements during the Budget and Spending Review on Wednesday.
But Labour has called the package a ‘smokescreen’ for the Conservatives’ ‘failure’ to offer support to families in the past.
Mr Sunak said: ‘I passionately believe that we have a duty to give young families and their children the best possible start in life.
‘We know that the first thousand and one days of a child’s life are some of the most important in their development – which is why I’m thrilled that this investment will guarantee that thousands of families across England are given support to lead healthy and happy lives.’
His funding includes around £80 million worth of spending to create another 75 Family Hubs in local authorities throughout England.
These Family Hubs are support centres for families to access services in one place.
He is also putting a further £100 million towards supporting the mental health of expectant parents, while £120 million will be invested in other comprehensive family support programmes.
And around 300,000 of the most vulnerable in society will be supported with an extra £200 million.
This will support people through complex issues that could lead to family breakdown.
Kate Green MP, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said: ‘Family hubs are a sticking plaster for a fractured childcare and children services landscape.
‘This supposed commitment rings hollow after 11 years of Conservative cuts have forced the closure of over a thousand children’s centres, cutting off the early learning that sets children up for life.
‘This has come alongside the government stripping away early intervention children’s services, allowing problems to escalate into crises.’
She added: ‘This is a smokescreen for the Conservatives’ failure to deliver for families.’
It comes after a recent poll found parents feel like they are ‘drowning’ and ‘isolated’ because of a lack of support during the past 18 months.
More than four in five (82 per cent) of parents say they are struggling with at least one of the warning signs that may indicate parental burnout due to Covid-19.