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Children's Centres

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the Government’s total (a) financial and (b) in kind contribution has been to the new Parkfield children’s centre in West Hendon; what estimate he has made of the contribution of the London borough of Barnet to the centre; what services the centre will provide; and if he will make a statement. (103734)

Sure Start Children’s Centres programme is making real progress. There are currently 1,037 children’s centres designated, reaching around 800,000 children and their families. Our aim is that there will be around 3,500 Sure Start Centres serving every community by 2010, reaching around 2.9 million children under five.

Information provided to the DfES by Barnet borough council shows that the total capital cost of building the Parkfield Sure Start Centre was £1,453,661. Of this total, £1 million was from DfES and £453,661 from Barnet borough council. In addition, Barnet council has been allocated a total of £8,418,107 General Sure Start Grant revenue over the same period to support the delivery of our 10 year strategy for child care. Provided they meet their targets, Barnet have been given flexibility on how the funding is apportioned to individual programmes. The Department do not collect data on revenue allocation per centre.

Parkfield Sure Start Centre will provide a full range of Sure Start services including; good quality early learning combined with full day care provision for children; good quality teacher input to lead the development of learning within the centre. Services provided will also include parental outreach, family support services; a base for a childminder network; child and family health services (including ante-natal); support for children and parents with special needs. The centre will make effective links with Jobcentre Plus, local training providers and further and higher education institutions.