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Children's Centres

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the viability of children’s centres in circumstances where local authorities comply with guidance issued by his Department that such centres become financially self-sustaining by 2011. (251043)

There is no requirement that Sure Start Children’s Centres become self-sustaining by 2011. Integrated early learning and day care, which is a key part of the offer in children’s centres in the most disadvantaged areas and optional elsewhere, is the only service which is intended to become self-sustaining. The Department’s Phase 3 Sure Start Children’s Centres planning and delivery guidance states that this is to run on business lines once it is established. Local authorities are accountable, through their sufficiency duties, to ensure there is appropriate provision to meet local needs.