Communities of children’s centres: decline and fall

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


The history of Children Centres is well documented with their roots traced to the Head Start programme developed in the United States to support low income families. The latest wave of Children’s Centres developed out of the Sure Start Local Programmes of the late 1990s, provided targeted services for the most deprived and disadvantaged areas in the United Kingdom (Lewis, 2011). Children’s Centres in the English context are ‘service hubs run by a combination of state maintained and voluntary providers’ (Oberhuemer et al., 2010:457). These hubs were designed to offer services for locally defined needs of communities to ensure a better start, a sure(r) start for children and support for the families to achieve this. The principles of operation were based on those of the Sure Start Local Programmes which aimed ‘to involve parents; to avoid stigma; to ensure lasting support for children and families; to act in culturally appropriate and sensitive ways; to achieve specific objectives; and to promote accessibility for all local families’ (Lewis, 2011:76).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYoung Children and Their Communities
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding Collective Social Responsibility
EditorsGillian Sykes, Eleonora Teszenyi
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781315151342
ISBN (Print)9781138558502, 9781138558526
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • Children's centres
  • Communities
  • Children
  • Young children


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