Sure Start centres face new duties to reach most disadvantaged

Sure Start children’s centres will face new duties to help them reach the most disadvantaged families, children’s minister Beverley Hughes said yesterday.

She said centres would face requirements to run home visiting and outreach programmes for parents of all new babies and to evaluate their responsiveness to the most disadvantaged groups.

Last November, the national evaluation of Sure Start reported that schemes were not reaching some of the most disadvantaged families.

Children’s charity NCH welcomed the announcement. Chief executive Clare Tickell described it as a “hugely positive step towards ensuring all children, regardless of their background or circumstances, get the start in life they deserve”.

The new requirements will be set out in guidance published next month

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