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Children's Centres

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the occupancy rate in nursery facilities provided in Sure Start children centres. (187235)

Sure Start children’s centres serving the most disadvantaged communities in England must provide integrated early learning and full day care as part of their core services. Centres serving less disadvantaged communities may provide integrated early learning and day care places where local demand is not being met by existing, good quality providers. Information on the occupancy rate in nursery facilities in Sure Start children’s centres is not collected centrally by my Department.

The 2006 Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey, conducted when the first Sure Start children’s centres were at an early stage in setting up their integrated early learning and child care services, estimated that there were 37,700 registered full day care places provided in centres in England, an average of 55 places per centre and 6,600 vacancies, an average of 12 vacancies per centre.