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Early years and childcare: For early years and childcare providers

Children's centres

A Sure Start Children's Centre provides a range of services for children and their families from pregnancy right through to when a child goes into reception class at primary school.

The Government sees children’s centres as an essential way of:

  • improving outcomes for young children
  • closing the gap between the most disadvantaged children and other children.

There is introductory reading about children’s centres on the Directgov website.

The Government has asked Ofsted to inspect and report on the effectiveness of each children’s centre in England. Inspections began in the summer term 2010. For further information on how we inspect children’s centres go to the appropriate Inspecting children's centres page in the children and families services section: