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Children’s Centres

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many Sure Start children's centres there were in England in each year from 1996-97 to 2006-07; and what estimate he has made of the likely number of such centres in each year from 2007-08 to 2010-11. (149114)

Sure Start Local Programmes (SSLPs) were established before children's centres, with 524 set up between 1999 and 2003. The first table gives cumulative figures for SSLPs open in each financial year across this period:

Number of Sure Start Local Programmes

1999-2000

51

2000-01

142

2001-02

259

2002-03

445

2003-04

524

The first Sure Start children's centres were opened in June 2003, and the following table shows cumulative figures across each financial year up to 2007-08. The figures include former SSLPs as the vast majority of these have taken on children's centre status over this period.

Number of Sure Start Children's Centres (including those that were initially SSLPs)

2004

65

2005

226

2006

836

2007

1,262

2008

12,500

1 Forecast based on progress towards Government target.

There are currently 1,337 children centres, and the Department is on course to achieve its target of 2,500 by 2008. The Government have set a national target of 3,500 centres by 2010, but projected figures for the final phase (2008 to 2010) cannot be given for individual years as local authority planning for these centres is at a very early stage.