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Children's Centres

Question for Department for Education

UIN 70121, tabled on 30 March 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 12 December 2016 to Question 57066, how many Sure Start children's centres there were in England in 2016.

Answered on

18 April 2017

Since January 2016, real-time data on children’s centres and sites has been supplied by local authorities via the Department’s EduBase portal at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/search.xhtml?clear=true.

Based on information supplied by local authorities, there were 3,315[1] children’s centres and sites at the beginning of the 2016 calendar year; and 66[2] children’s centres closed in 2016.

Councils are merging centres to allow services to be delivered more efficiently. Where they decide to close a children’s centre, councils must demonstrate that children and families, particularly the most disadvantaged, will not be adversely affected and that they will not compromise their duty to have sufficient children’s centres to meet local need.

[1] The number of children’s centres and sites at the beginning of 2016 is based on information supplied by local authorities, as at 31 March 2017 at 10:25 am. This figure could change if local authorities report additional closures that took place prior to 2016.

[2] The number of children’s centres that closed in 2016 is based on information supplied to Edubase, as at 31 March 2017 at 10:25 am. This figure could change if local authorities report additional closures that took place in 2016.