4 April 2015
More than 1000 Sure Start centres are at risk of closure under the Conservatives’ plans to further slash public spending.
Sure Start daycare Centres were introduced in 1998, and are a lifeline for working families. The Department for Education states that; “The core purpose of Sure Start children’s centres is to improve outcomes for young children and their families, with a particular focus on those in greatest need. They work to make sure all children are properly prepared for school, regardless of background or family circumstances. They also offer support to parents.”
Labour say that 269 Sure Start centres face closure this year, with a further 786 likely to be axed between 2015 and 2019, should the Tories be reelected.
Shadow Education Secretary Tristam Hunt said; “The Tories pose a real threat to Sure Start – a service relied on by thousands of working families.
“Before the last election, David Cameron said he would protect Sure Start but since then there are hundreds fewer centres. If they get in again they will do the same again.”
Frances O’Grady commented; “The astronomical cost of childcare in the UK means that for many families work simply does not pay. The closure of any more Sure Start children’s centres, especially after years of cuts to childcare tax credits, would make an already bad situation even worse.
“Those who do work often end up having to go without just so they can pay the nursery fees. The next government should move to end this childcare nightmare instead of increasing the burden on hard-pressed families across the country.
“Sure Start centres are a vital lifeline for many of the UK’s poorest households and must be protected.”