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Sure Start Programme: Voluntary Organisations

Volume 475: debated on Friday 16 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of (a) local Sure Start centres and (b) children’s centres are run by voluntary organisations. (206104)

Local authorities working with their partners in children's trusts are responsible for the overall delivery of the Sure Start Children’s Centres programme in England, building on the early Sure Start Local Programmes and other provision, including planning, securing value for money and ensuring overall quality in children’s centres. We encourage them to involve voluntary, private and independent organisations both in managing children’s centres and as service providers in order to harness the best of all sectors in delivering quality services for children. Reliable information on how many Sure Start Children’s Centres are run by voluntary organisations is not available centrally. A survey of around 1,100 children’s centres last year showed around 58 per cent. of child care provision in children’s centres is provided by the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector and that 74 per cent. of children’s centres are using voluntary organisations to deliver other services.