Labour warns Tories would close fifth of children's centres

Conservative plans to cut £200m each year from the Sure Start budget could see one in five children's centres forced to close their doors, according to Labour.

Research shows that nine out of 10 parents who use Sure Start children’s centres are happy with the service.

More than 2.3 million children under the age of five and their families now have access to services through nearly 3,000 children’s centres across England.

But the £200m cut proposed by the Tories means cutting almost 20% of the budget, according to Labour.

Beverley Hughes, Labour’s children’s minister, said: ‘By 2010 we will have a children’s centre in every community – 3,500 across the country – and each one of them will soon be linked to a named health visitor.

‘But all that would be put at risk by the Conservative party’s proposed cuts, which could mean closing one in five children’s centres across the country.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

  • Do children’s centres provide a valuable service?

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