Commenting upon the announcement of the Children and Families bill in today's Queen's Speech, Anne Longfield OBE, CEO of 4Children said it showed a "poverty of ambition" for less well off families.

Longfield said: "4Children welcomes the announcement of the Children and Families Bill in today's Queen's Speech. 4Children has long campaigned for flexible working for parents; faster, more efficient resolution of custody and adoption cases; and for an expanded role for the Children's Commissioner - and we will watch this Bill closely to ensure that the changes it is claimed to offer really do deliver for families across the country.

"However, we are concerned by the limited scope of this Bill - at a time when families are facing dwindling incomes against rising prices, growing unemployment and cuts to vital services, this Bill does little to address the real problems families are facing. Though the changes outlined in the Bill are welcome, they will not help families put food on the table, or heat the house. None of them will replace a closed Sure Start centre, and none of them will provide reasonably priced childcare to allow families to get back to work.

These changes are welcome but if David Cameron and Nick Clegg are serious about making Britain the most family friendly country in Europe, they will need to do much more than this. Poverty of ambition and want of vision from government will never tackle the poverty and want families are facing across this country. This Bill must prepare the way for greater help next year."

Posted by Penny Hosie