The Sutton Trust report: Stop Start

‘Services are ‘hollowed out’ and thinly spread in an environment of declining resources and loss of strategic direction.’
Stop Start (pdf) is the April 2018 report from the Sutton Trust on children’s centres in England.

The title of the report refers to the Labour initiative ‘Sure Start’ which aimed to provide a national network of children’s centres to support young children and families.

The report recommends:

  • The government should complete the long-promised review of the children’s centre programme to confirm its national importance and overall purpose with national guidelines. This could stop the piecemeal local closure of centres which is creating a postcode lottery of provision
  •  A national register of children’s centres should be maintained which establishes minimum levels of provision for inclusion. Clear criteria of what constitutes a ‘children’s centre’ should be established. Better and more up to date data should be collected and published nationally on all children’s centres
  • Once the review is completed, the government should consider re establishing inspections of a set of core services, to embed children’s centres as a national programme, and ensure accountability and quality of service delivery.

Read the full report (pdf).