Early Years and childcare
- Local Authority Developing Practice
- Survey of childcare and early years providers
- Early Years and Childcare Aide Memoire
- Survey of parents about childcare and out of school activities
- Affordable childcare campaign toolkit
- Sure Start Children's Centres
- Sure Start Children's Centres communications support
- Early years foundation stage
- Childcare implementation
- Carers' recruitment and retention
One of the key components of the Every Child Matters agenda is the Sure Start programme. This programme aims to increase the availability of childcare for all, improve children's health and emotional development, and provide a range of support services to parents from pregnancy onwards.
At the heart of this programme is the network of Sure Start children’s centres, which provide early education integrated with health, family support and childcare services daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm. Further information on the individual centres, including locations and contact details, can be found in a fully searchable database.
The Sure Start programme is also central to the objectives set out in the ten-year strategy for childcare, Choice for parents, the best start for children. Launched in 2004, this strategy sets out the Government’s aims in supporting local authorities and their partners in delivering choice and increased flexibility, availability, quality and affordability in their childcare provision. The Government’s vision is to ensure that every child gets the best possible start in life and to give parents more choice about how to balance work and family life.