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DfE announces long awaited review of Children’s Centres

Almost 5 years after first promising a consultation, the DfE has confirmed that the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) will ‘look at children’s centres and other delivery models to find out what works well’.

The government will commission the EIF to "identify tools and support for local areas to help them make informed decisions about different models to deliver early years integrated services, including children's centres and family hubs".

The review aims to:

  • Review and understand the research and practice evidence for different models of integrated early childhood services.
  • Develop and test practical resources for local authorities and their local partners on applying new learning about services.
  • Share good practice with leaders and commissioners of early childhood services.

The news comes amid continued concerns over the number of Sure Start centres closing nationally with the latest figures suggesting 2,353 centres were operating as at 31 March 2019 against the peak of 3,632 in 2009.

The DfE has indicated that findings of the study will be shared with local authorities "so they have more evidence to help them make the best decisions for their communities".