16th April 2024 All Posts

Supporting Families from Day One: The Impact of Sure Start Centres

Sure Start centres have supported families and nurtured children’s development since the incentive was launched in 1998. A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) underscores these centres’ vital role in shaping children’s educational outcomes and long-term development. This article delves into the impact of Sure Start centres on families and highlights the significant benefits they have provided from the outset.

The impact of Sure Start Centres

The IFS report sheds light on the transformative effects of Sure Start centres on children’s educational achievements. Launched by the Labour government in 1998 and officially introduced in 1999, Sure Start centres have been instrumental in providing essential services and support to families, particularly those from low-income households. The report emphasises that children living near Sure Start centres have experienced notable improvements in their GCSE grades, indicating the profound impact of these centres on educational outcomes.

Sure Start centres are designed to offer a range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of families in their communities. From early years education and childcare to parenting support and health services, these centres provide a comprehensive framework of support that addresses some of the day-to-day challenges faced by families. By offering a holistic approach to child development and family wellbeing, Sure Start centres create a nurturing environment where children can learn, develop and reach their full potential.

The centres serve as hubs for community engagement and empowerment. They provide a welcoming space where families can access information, resources, and guidance on various aspects of parenting and child development. Through parent workshops, playgroups, and outreach programs, Sure Start centres provide a sense of belonging and solidarity among families, promoting social cohesion and mutual support within the community.

However, the landscape of early years policy underwent significant changes following the change in government in 2010. A new focus emerged, emphasising the expansion of funding for subsidised childcare to support parental employment, leading to a decline in investment in Sure Start. Over the subsequent years, funding for Sure Start was substantially reduced, resulting in the closure of over 1,340 centres.

You can find the key findings from the report here.

Below are some useful links for if you would like to explore this topic further: 

Day Nurseries – What is a Sure Start Children’s Centre?

Nursery World – Research shows that children living near Sure Start centres gained higher GCSE grades

Nursery Management Today – IFS report: Sure Start centres boost child development

BBC NEWS Children living near Sure Start centres did better at GCSEs, study suggests

development. This article delves into the impact of Sure Start centres on families and highlights the significant benefits they have provided from the outset.

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Content Marketing Executive at Connect Childcare