More money for Children’s Centres and extended schools

A further ambitious expansion of services for young children has
been announced by the government.

Chancellor Gordon Brown in his Spending Review announced an
extra £769 million to fund 2500 children’s centres by
2008 – more than the original offer of a children’s
centre in each of the 20 per cent most deprived wards in the

The Children’s Fund is to be extended to 2008, by which
time Children’s Trusts are expected to be up and running and
providing integrated children’s services.

Children’s social services are to receive
“significant increases in funding” to enable local
authorities to play their part in reforms outlined in Every Child

Brown also announced a pilot scheme to provide free nursery
places to two year olds. The pilot will run in 500 disadvantaged
areas, and offer part time early education places to 12000 two year

He promised investment in extended and full service schools to
back the Department for Education and Skill’s promise last
week of at least 1000 primary schools offering “wrap
around” childcare between 8am and 6pm by 2008. In time, every
primary school should offer study support activities and parent
support opportunities on the premises, according to the DfES. The
Spending Review promises 240 full service extended schools by 2006,
offering health services and adult education as well as

The growth is to be paid for by massive cuts in the civil
service. As already announced, about one in three posts in the DfES
is to be cut.

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