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Children's Centres

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the 20 per cent. most deprived wards in the country to benefit from children's centres; and what criteria he will use to determine which of those wards will be included in the first wave of children's centres to be established. [105639]

CampaignCost £
Childcare Recruitment2,741,377
Childcare Recruitment, targeting ethnic minority audiences50,000
Aim Higher—a campaign to encourage wider participation in Higher Education2,649,999
Foundation Degrees549,397
Connexions1,320,331
Campaign to encourage year 9 students to visit a revision guide website to assist with their Key Stage 3 national tests15,260
Adult Basic Skills5,478,117
UCAS Campaign—a campaign to promote the UCAS helpline around the time of clearing100,000
Posters to support a Ministerial event on truancy2,750

Officials wrote to all local authorities on 21 February 2003 enclosing Start Up Guidance on children's centres. There are 136 local authorities that have wards rated as among the most disadvantaged 20 per cent. Of these 124 were given indicative funding, and targets for reach and child care places. The remaining 12 will be individually assessed on a case by case basis to determine the level of funding required.Local authorities are now beginning their strategic planning and will make decisions at a local level as to the best sites to develop children's centres. Sure Start Unit regional teams will work closely with local authorities over the spring and summer in developing these plans and local authorities will then submit their final strategic plans by 15 October 2003 at the latest. It is at that point that we will have full details of which wards will have children's centres.The only criterion is that the wards selected must be from the local authority's 20 per cent. most disadvantaged wards as defined in the ODPM Index of Multiple Deprivation.