Department for Culture Media and Sport
children, young people and families
We encourage children, young people and their families to take part in cultural, social and sporting activities.
Sure Start aims to improve the health and well-being of families and children before and from birth, so children are ready to do well when they go to school. The programme includes local Sure Start centres to improve services for families with children under four, in the most deprived areas of the country.
Sure Start operates across different government departments. We are responsible for:
- improving access to children's play opportunities
- library related initiatives, such as the Booktrust Bookstart scheme to promote the sharing of books with very young children
- working to ensure that integrated family centres and play facilities are not only fit for their purpose, but built to a high-quality design
Many other DCMS initiatives also contribute to the Sure Start objectives, in their promotion of worthwhile and enjoyable experiences for children during their early years.
Every Child Matters
Five things are key to well-being in childhood and later life - being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and economic well-being. Every Child Matters is a programme dedicated to improving these outcomes for all children. Visit the Every Child Matters programme website
Culture, sport and play activities have an important role to play in this programme. We work with our sponsored bodies to improve these outcomes and narrow the gap between those who do well and those who do not.
We have an annual budget of some £500,000 for Children's Play, which currently funds contracts with Play England, the Children's Play Information Service and SkillsActive.
The Children’s Plan
In December 2007 the Children’s Plan was launched. It aims to make England the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up.
Children’s play was one of the main elements in the plan, with an investment of £235million to support local authorities, parents and communities in providing safe and fun play opportunities for children.
The Children’s Plan included a commitment to publish the first national play strategy for England, and on Thursday 3 April 2008 DCSF and DCMS launchedFair Play: A consultation on the national play strategy, available on the DCSF website.
The Green Papers Youth Matters (July 2005) and Youth Matters - Next Steps (March 2006) proposed:
- a statutory duty on local authorities to provide positive activities for all young people
- legislation for statutory guidance setting out national standards covering activities that should be available to young people
These include a range of cultural, sporting, recreational and enriching experiences, as well as provision for young people to make a contribution through volunteering.
DCMS worked with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), other departments government and cultural and sporting bodies on the design of the statutory guidance.
Youth Opportunity Fund – DCSF website
Aiming High for Young People: A ten year strategy for positive activities – DCSF website
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