Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Unsure start

All is not well with government plans to expand Sure Start into children's centres in every area. Last week, Children Now reported:

Government officials have held crisis talks with a leading children's centre provider that is threatening to hand back the keys to 50 centres. Officials from the Department for Education and Skills met with senior figures at the Pre-School Learning Alliance last week in a desperate bid to salvage the situation.

The emergency meeting came after chief executive Steve Alexander told the Children Now Fund conference held last week that "most of our settings are being run at a loss".

This week we're told:
MPs have quizzed children's minister Beverley Hughes about children's centres amid mounting concern about the sustainability of the Government's programme. One member of the Commons' Education and Skills Select Committee suggested children's centres were "ludicrously cheap", while another suggested that they should be required to follow strict Government guidelines.

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