Children's Minister, Will Quince provides official data showing over 1,342 Children’s Centre’s have shut between 2010 and 2021
Responding to a written question by Labour MP, Helen Hayes, the figures show a significant fall in the number of centres now open.
Early Years Alliance analysis of the figures shows that:
Neil Leitch, CEO of the Early Years Alliance, said:
“We know that children’s centres are a vital source of support, practical advice and guidance for families across the country, and in particular, disadvantaged and vulnerable families. As such, it is extremely worrying that over 1,300 centres have closed since 2011, and that more than 50 local authorities have seen the number of full centres in their areas more than halve.
“While the government’s plan to invest in a new programme of family hubs is welcome, it’s very difficult to see how the plans as described to date will compensate for the sheer scale of the closures that these figures show.
“For so many children’s centres to be disappearing over a period when there has been so much government rhetoric on closing the gap, improving life chances and, most recently, ‘levelling up’ seems completely contradictory. If the government is genuinely committed to ensuring that children and families are able to access the support they need, they need to invest in the services that deliver this.”