Since 18 September 2017, real-time data on Sure Start children’s centres and children’s centre linked sites has been supplied by local councils via the department’s Get Information about schools (GIAS) database portal at: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/.
Based on information supplied by local councils, there were 3,130 children’s centres and sites as at 18 November 2017; 3,205 children’s centres and sites at the beginning of the 2017 calendar year; 3,272 children’s centres and sites at the start of the 2016 calendar year; and 3,431 children’s centres and sites at the start of the 2015 calendar year.
The number of children’s centres and sites is based on information supplied to the GIAS database, as at 18 November 2017. These figures may be different to previous answers, and could change again in future, since local councils may update previous entries to the database at any time.
Councils are reconfiguring services to deliver them more efficiently. Where they decide to close a children’s centre, councils must demonstrate that children and families, particularly the most disadvantaged, will not be adversely affected and that they will not compromise their duty to have sufficient children’s centres to meet local need.