The Department does not collect information on the number of anticipated closures but expects local authorities to update the Sure Start On database when a children's centre is closed. Local authorities have duties under the Childcare Act 2006 to ensure sufficient children’s centres to meet local need and to ensure they consult before any significant changes are made, including taking into account the views of local families and communities. It is for local authorities, taking into account this consultation with their local communities, to determine the most effective way of delivering children’s centre services to meet local need. There remains a presumption against closure.
The table below sets out the number of children’s centres that have closed and opened in each year from 2010 to 2014 according to information supplied by local authorities to the Sure Start On database. These represent the latest published figures. Data on the changes to children’s centre numbers for 2015 to date will be available in early July.
Number of centres