A review of the services offered by English Sure Start Children’s Centres in 2011 and 2012
Oxford Review of Education
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis (Routledge) via the DOI in this record.
This paper presents a review of the family services that were offered by a sample of 121 English Sure Start Children’s Centres in 2011 and 2012. Children’s Centres are community based facilities that aim to improve outcomes for at-risk families and children through the delivery of a range of services largely aimed at families with young children. Services commonly offered include: health advice, childcare and early education, employment advice, informal drop-in facilities, and specialist support on parenting. This paper provides a snapshot of Children’s Centre service provision in 2011 and 2012 and documents the extent of change. A picture of broad stability was observed in the numbers of services that centres reported offering (from a list of 47 services grouped into 11 categories). However, some Children’s Centres also appeared to be changing the focus of the services that they provided. Some centres seemed to be shifting towards providing greater outreach (rather than parent-support) and services which were targeted (rather than universal).
This paper is based on research that was funded by the UK Department for Education.
Oxford Review of Education, 2015, Vol. 41, Issue 1, pp. 89 - 104