There are two Sure Start children's centres up and running in the constituency of Yeovil offering services to 1,815 children under five and their families including 58 child care places. In Somerset there are 14 children's centres offering services to 10,4011 children under five and their families including 237 child care places. In the south-west as a whole there are 78 children's centres offering services to 57,1552 children under five and their families including 2,234 child care places. Data on how many children have accessed services are based on information collected for Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) because data on numbers using children's centres are not yet available.
There are no Sure Start local programmes in the Yeovil constituency. 2,139 children under four live in areas covered by three SSLPs in Somerset. In all 24,613 children under four live in areas covered by 31 SSLPs in the south-west. The latest information available (at March 2005) shows on average 30 per cent.3 of children in the Somerset and on average 25 per cent.4of children overall in SSLPs in the south-west had significant contact (that is, a home visit or attendance at a centre-based activity) with Sure Start.
Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) were set up between 1999 and 2003 offering a range of services to children under four years of age and their families living in defined areas. In 2002, Mini Sure Start programmes were set up in rural areas and pockets of deprivation that would not normally be covered by larger SSLPs. All SSLPs and mini programmes are becoming Sure Start children's centres and will offer services to children under five years of age and their families. Information about the percentage of children reached by SSLP services is now collected once a year. The Department does not keep data on how many children have participated in Mini Sure Start programmes. However, each programme typically covers between 150 and 170 children under four in their catchment areas.
1 10,401 children include 2,139 children previously served by the three SSLPs across Somerset that have become children's centres.
2 57,155 children include 24,613 children previously served by the 31 SSLPs across the south-west that have become children's centres.
Sure Start Local Programme data returns March 2005.