Sure Start Children Centres Census 2014


The findings of this year’s Children’s Centre census attest to the important role at the heart of their communities they support. For the second year running, demand for services is at record levels, with over one million families supported and receiving services delivered through Children’s Centres on a regular basis.

Again, as in 2013, Centres are supporting just over two-thirds of the 500,000 most vulnerable families and children, playing a vital role in supporting those in, or on the edge of, crisis. There is also increased recognition of the benefit of early intervention, and the joined-up and integrated support they are able to deliver for these families.

Regional tables and data are also available to download (PDF)

Read the media release

The key findings from the Children’s Centre Census 2014 are:

  • 1.05million families are using Children’s Centres, an increase from one million last year
  • Around 335,000 vulnerable families (67%) are receiving support from their local Children’s Centre and would be at increased risk of slipping into crisis if this is reduced
  • 53% of Children’s Centres say meeting the demand for services will be a challenge during the coming year
  • 57% of Children’s Centres expect their budget to reduce during the next year and another 22% do not know what will happen to their budget
  • Three quarters (75%) of Children’s Centres say the balance between universal and targeted services is shifting. Of these 92% say there is a shift towards more targeted services
  • Children’s Centres are set to enable more partnership working. Currently 54% of targeted services are provided through partnerships. At almost a third of Children’s Centres (30%) partnerships are changing and, of these, 52% report greater engagement with a range of their partners including: social care (75%); health (71%) the local Troubled Families Programme (54%) and midwives (39%)
  • More than half of Children’s Centres (52%) expect to see changes to their structure during the next year. Almost half (44%) of standalone centres predict they will become part of a cluster during the next year and a fifth of Children’s Centres (23%) which are already in a cluster expect the area their cluster covers to expand.
  • Around 3% of Children’s Centres say they expect to close in a year’s time

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Sure Start Children Centres Census 2014 main photo

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