The new Early Intervention Grant gives local authorities the freedom and flexibility to make the best decisions about services in their communities. Local authorities have been asking the Department for clarification about existing legal duties in relation to Sure Start children’s centres.
Local authorities have duties under the Childcare Act in relation to children’s centres – in particular to consult before opening, closing or significantly changing children’s centres, and to secure sufficient provision to meet local need so far as is reasonably practicable.
Statutory guidance accompanies these duties and is available on the Department for Education website. The website also highlights sections of the guidance which are particularly relevant at the moment.