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Exclusive: Study reveals 20% decline in use with biggest fall in England’s poorest areas

Local authority spending cuts have driven a 20% fall in the number of youngsters using Sure Start children’s centres in just four years, with the most dramatic decline occurring in some of England’s poorest areas, a study has found.

The charity Action for Children estimates that 1.8 million children used Sure Start centres in England in 2017-18 – down from 2.2 million four years earlier – a direct consequence, it says, of a 62% cut in council early years service spending since 2010.

The charity said it was especially concerned that deprived authorities had reported the biggest reductions in use, at a time when rising poverty was likely to have fuelled demand for parent and child support services in those areas.

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The Guardian

 

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