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Children's Centres: Labour Turnover

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of Sure Start children's centres in each local authority area have (a) child care staff vacancies, (b) manager and/or administrator vacancies, (c) outreach staff vacancies and (d) speech and language therapist vacancies; and if he will make a statement; (187093)

(2) what assessment he has made of levels of recruitment and retention in Sure Start children's centres; and if he will make a statement.

Information on the workforce in Sure Start children's centres workforce is not collected centrally. The 2006 Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey estimated that 31 per cent. of full day care providers based in children's centres in England were actively recruiting staff. This snapshot is based on a sample survey of providers and an estimate of the number of full day care providers based in children's centres who had staff vacancies is not available. Data are not available at a local authority level.

Sure Start children's centres offer a range of integrated services for young children and families, delivered by statutory, private and voluntary and independent sector agencies working together. Recruitment and retention of children's centre staff is a matter for local management by children's centres, local authorities and their partner agencies. By 2010 Sure Start children's centres will be serving all communities across the country providing universal, mainstream and permanent services for children under five and their families. Last summer we advised local authorities of their children's centres funding allocations for the next three financial years (2008 to 2011) to encourage longer-term planning and to increase stability in recruitment and retention of staff.