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Education in the media: Thursday 5 April 2018

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Today’s Education in the media blog looks at a Sutton Trust report on Sure Start centres.

Sutton Trust report

Today the Sutton Trust has put out a report on Sure Start children’s centres, and early years provision.

Ultimately, provision of children’s centres – including Sure Start centres is a matter for local authorities. They are the ones who know the needs of their local communities best.

The government is giving local councils £200 billion up to 2019-20 for local services. On top of that, by 2019/20, around £6 billion a year will be spent on childcare support by the government. This is more than any previous government.

Where a council decides to close a children’s centre, it must demonstrate that children and families, particularly the most disadvantaged, will not be adversely affected. It must also show it still meets the duty to have sufficient children’s centres to meet local need.

The piece was covered by broadcast outlets on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Victoria Derbyshire. The report also received pick up in print media, including The Guardian, BBC Online, Independent, Metro, the Times, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Telegraph.

A Government spokesperson said:

Councils will receive more than £200 billion for local services, including children and young people services, up to 2019-20. In addition to this we are investing more in childcare support than any other government – around £6 billion a year by 2019/20.

It is right that we give councils the freedom to decide what services they provide for their communities as they are best placed to understand local needs and how best to meet them, whether through a children’s centre building, a family hub, or another model.

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