England’s councils to hit children’s centres targets

Local authorities in England are on course to meet government targets on children’s centres, according to services coalition Together for Children.

The Sure Start Children’s Centre strategy to set up 2,500 centres by March 2008 is part of the government’s aim to provide a centre for every 800 under-fives by 2010. The centres are being developed from existing provision, including Sure Start local programmes, neighbourhood nurseries, schools, family centres, voluntary and private provision.

Minister for children Beverley Hughes congratulated the first 10 local authorities to reach their targets. She said: “This is a significant achievement and an important milestone.”

A spokesperson for Together for Children said: “Currently there are in excess of 2,000 children’s centres and we are confident the target will be met by the March deadline. However, we are not complacent and are continuing to work closely with local authorities.”

Further information:
Together for Children children’s centres website

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