Children’s Centres - The Future

Improving outcomes for children and families

Date: 18 July 2012 Location: London

All speakers were very knowledgeable and able to answer the questions with an indepth answer

The confernce covered some visionary ideas of how to take Children Centres forward so services are improved, especially for families that need it.

Children’s Centres are integral to the health and wellbeing of children and the community in which they are brought up. Assessing the needs across their area, they can be a real powerhouse of support for the children and families in that community. At a time when Local Authorities are facing immense economic pressures, Children’s Centres – The future looked at ways in which these pressures are being addressed to ensure the best possible support for children and families.

For many families with young children, the services, support and information that Children’s Centres provide is indispensible. With the changes in requirements however and centres now being required to re-focus on supporting the most vulnerable children and families there are big challenges ahead. Children’s Centres – The Future offereddelegates the opportunity to debate and discuss the future of Children’s Centres and hear from speakers on how Children’s Centres can really be the hub of the community.

Please see the resources panel for PDFs of the day's presentations.

The conference looked at:

  • How Children’s Centres can work as part of a community hub
  • How we can ensure that children are school ready
  • Measuring quality and outcomes
  • Outcomes from a new report on children’s centres by Professor Sir Michael Marmot
  • Change from core offer to core purpose
  • Payment By Results
  • Partnership working

Conference Chair:

  •  Reeta Chakrabarti, BBC Education Correspondent

Keynote speakers - please see resources for presentations:

  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director, UCL Institute of Health Equity
  • Jo Hall, Senior Adviser (Early Years), Plymouth City Council
  • Robert McCulloch-Graham, Directo of Children's Services, London Borough of Barnet
  • Anne Longfield OBE, Chief Executive, 4Children
  • Sue Potter, Headteacher, Riverview C of E Children's Centre and Primary School, Epsom
  • Sally Batley, Head of Implementation, Department of Health
  • Lesley Hollinshead, Children and Families Services Manager (Early Intervention and Child Health), Knowsley MBC
  • Joe Coogan, Assistant Director: Transformation (Commissioning), London Borough of Havering

The importance of quality and the strength of the workforce in children’s centres has always been very important but as local authorities begin to trial a Payment By Results approach to funding Children’s Centres we need to look at ways in which this can be measured.

Children’s Centres – The future brought together experts from across the Children’s Centres sector to discuss and debate ways in which Children’s Centres can survive in these challenging times and debate subjects including funding, targeted and universal services, and positive ways of improving effectiveness across children’s centres.

For further details please contact the Events Team on 0207 5226970 or at